Survey | Report

APM Survey:

National survey of super bowl impressions 2018

Photo by Evan Frost | MPR News

Photo by Evan Frost | MPR News


Feb. 19, 2018

On February 4, 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles bested the New England Patriots (41-33) in Super Bowl LII. The APM Research Lab wished to know whether Minneapolis, Minnesota, which hosted the game at U.S. Bank stadium, also “won”—in terms of altering public perception of its character. As the National Football League’s (NFL) annual championship game, the Super Bowl stands among the most-watched sporting events in the world, and is the most watched live television event in the United States. In addition, the Super Bowl generates significant media and social media coverage from associated events leading up to and following the game.

In the week following the Super Bowl, the APM Research Lab conducted the National Survey of Super Bowl Impressions to assess whether Americans (who did not live in Minnesota) knew that Minneapolis was the host city, and whether media coverage of the event changed their impressions of Minneapolis as a desirable place to visit. As a result of Super Bowl LII media coverage, 37 percent of Americans said they were “more likely” to think of Minneapolis as good place to visit, compared to 29 percent who said “less likely.” 


As a result of Super Bowl coverage, a higher proportion of Americans say they are “more likely” to think of Minneapolis as good place to visit than say “less likely” or that the media coverage does not matter

Hosting the Super Bowl is an opportunity to raise a city’s national profile, with hopes of generating longer-term returns in the form of tourism, talent recruitment, and economic development. Organizers of Super Bowl LII sponsored a free, week-long outdoor “Super Bowl Live” entertainment series in Minneapolis, and a “Bold North” branding campaign. In the week leading up to the Super Bowl, venues in and around Minneapolis hosted hundreds of broadcasters. During the game, the announcers mentioned several times that, outside of the stadium, it was the coldest Super Bowl in history. The halftime show performer Justin Timberlake gave several “shout-outs” to Minneapolis. The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon hosted a live filming of his show at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis.

“If they held the Super Bowl there, there has to be something cool about the place.”

How did all of this attention impact national awareness and perceptions of Minneapolis to those who do not live near it? In the National Survey of Super Bowl Impressions, we asked a nationally representative sample of 973 adult Americans who live outside of Minnesota three primary questions:

  1. Can you tell me what city the Super Bowl was held in this year? If not, how about the state?

  2. As a result of media coverage of the Super Bowl, are you more or less likely to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit?

  3. What is the main reason you say that?


Americans knowledge of Minneapolis as host city for Super Bowl LII

  • More than half of American adults could name where the game was played, including 47 percent who named Minneapolis when asked about the city, and another 7 percent who failed to name the city but accurately identified Minnesota as the state. The remaining 46 percent of Americans did not know where the Super Bowl was held.

  • Males (58%) were more likely than females (50%) to know where the Super Bowl was played.

  • Young adults were considerably less likely to know the location than older adults. Only 37 percent of Americans age 18-34 were aware, compared to 53 percent of those age 35-44 and more than 60 percent of all Americans age 45 and above.

  • Six in 10 White Americans knew where Super Bowl LII was held, compared to 5 in 10 Black Americans and 3 in 10 Hispanic/Latino Americans.

  • Americans with higher incomes were more likely to know the game’s location. Among those with annual income of $75,000 or more, nearly three-fourths answered Minneapolis or Minnesota. Among those with incomes below $25,000 annually, fewer than half as many (35%) did so.

Did the Super Bowl change the general public’s impressions of Minneapolis?

Overall, 37 percent of adults indicated that they were “more likely” to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit as a result of Super Bowl media coverage, compared to 29 percent who said “less likely.” Just under one-quarter of respondents said media coverage did not alter their impression of Minneapolis, and 11 percent said they did not know.

Of those who were “more likely” to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit, 20 percent mentioned media coverage that showed Minneapolis in a positive light.

“The images they showed of the city were nice. I want to go there.”

Of those “more likely,” another 19 percent mentioned their own personal familiarity with the area, often through connections with family, friends, or work as reasons to see Minneapolis as a desirable destination for visiting. Many others mentioned specific attributes of Minneapolis, including the city’s cleanliness, scenery, and people.

“It is really a beautiful city with nice people.”

Of those who were “less likely” to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit in the 2018 Super Bowl’s wake, nearly half mentioned personal reasons, such as:

“I have already been there, so it doesn't really make any difference.”

“It's because of my age.”

The weather was the second most frequently mentioned reason respondents gave for being “less likely” to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit as a result of Super Bowl coverage. About 3 in 10 of those who were “less likely” named weather as their primary reason.

“Minneapolis is cold. The Super Bowl isn't going to change that.”