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Retailers Touted Big Screens For The Big Game

2/13/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – Steep promotions
on 60-inch-and-larger displays,
and a highly anticipated contest
between the New York Giants
and New England Patriots,
helped Super Bowl XLVI live up
to retailers’ expectations as the
most important TV selling cycle of
the year.

“Our members enjoyed a strong
holiday season, but Super Bowl
was proportionately stronger,”
reported Doug Schatz, CE merchandising
VP for the 3,000-dealer
Nationwide Marketing Group. Driving the uplift was
a combination of promotional efforts and the draw of
two highly visible teams representing large, densely
populated metropolitan areas, he said.

Promotions included Nationwide-
provided collateral such as
TV commercials, circulars, extended-
term financing, and delivery
and installation rebates, which
were layered on top of vendordriven
programs.

The latter, said Rayman Cheng,
VP/ general merchandise manager
of consumer electronics at Sears
Holdings, were particularly compelling.
“There were some really
hot promotions, like those around
Black Friday,” he told TWICE.
“The offers were very strong, basically
‘bigger for less,’ with 70-inch panels selling for
less than the price of 55-inch displays last year.”

Indeed, Sears offered a 70-inch LCD-LED TV from Sharp for $1,899.88, a savings of $900
on the chain’s largest flat-panel display,
while prices for 60-inch sets fell even
farther. Best Buy kicked off the Super
Bowl promo period by presenting
Sharp’s 60LE300 LCD LED for $999;
Walmart lowered Panasonic’s entrylevel
60-inch S30-series 2D plasma to
$898; and LG’s 60-inch 60PV450 plasma
was selling for as low as $799 on
Jan. 20, reported TechBargains.com, an
online clearinghouse for CE shopping
information.

To help get the word out, Sears’ divisional
VP and chief marketing officer for
electronics Audrey Broxterman revisited
the company’s “Ultimate Football Experience”
campaign, which was launched
with the start of football season last fall.
The effort included in-store signing, digital
and radio ads, TV spots on ESPN,
special credit and cash-back offers, and
additional training for sales associates.

Unlike Black Friday, when consumers
are seeking gifts and deals, Super Bowl
shoppers buy for themselves, Broxterman
explained, and are looking to recreate the stadium experience at home
through oversized displays, improved
picture quality and audio attachments
like soundbars and HTiBs.

That, agreed Nationwide’s Schatz,
makes Super Bowl the most valuable
selling season on the calendar. “Customers
are more likely to buy better,
more fully featured, higher-ticket TVs”
and complete purchases that include
audio, furniture, installation, high-quality
cables and other accessories that make
for a larger and more profitable transaction,
he said.

Consumers, even before the ads hit,
were already primed to make a TV purchase,
pre-game surveys showed. According
to a poll by the Retail Advertising
and Marketing Association (RAMA)
and BIGinsight, 5.1 percent of consumers,
or 5.1 million shoppers, said they
intended to buy a TV for Super Bowl, up
from 4.5 million last year and 3.6 million
in 2010.

A separate survey by TechBargains.com suggested that one out of four
shoppers were considering buying
a new TV before Super Bowl, and 63
percent planned to spend more on the
new set than they did on their last TV
purchase.

Also boding well for the final retail
sales tallies was the game’s record
viewership: 111.3 million people tuned
in – including 2.1 million who streamed
it live online – making Super Bowl XVVI
the most watched television show in U.S.
history, according to Nielsen estimates.

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