With nearly 100+ million viewers across the U.S., Super Bowl Sunday is continuously one of the most watched television programs of the year. The number of viewers means it’s a big day – and not just for the two competing football franchises.
Each year, brands shell out astronomical amounts of money to display their commercials on the big screen (during the Big Game) in hopes of increasing their engagement, and thereby, their sales. According to Business Insider, this year, NBCUniversal charged advertisers an average of $6.5 million dollars to run a 30-second ad.
There’s a lot at stake. During the game, there’s a three- to- five-minute window right after a company’s commercial airs where its website traffic skyrockets from 1,000 concurrent users to 75,000+ concurrent users. The reality is this: If a company’s website is not prepared, a 30-second commercial that costs roughly $6.5 million dollars, could crash the site instantaneously. With this amount of exposure and money comes the need for a website partner that can provide full support.
The Winning Playbook
Ensuring a website is set up to win on Super Bowl Sunday takes a ton of preparation – around six or more months actually. Below is a quick list of what they typically do to prepare.
- Set objectives: Before any preparation begins, it’s crucial that companies meet with their website partner to discuss the objectives of the TV commercial, and subsequently, what actions they want visitors to take once they’re on the site. This meeting is important for two reasons: it aligns both sides on what is required of them to meet the business objectives, and it allows for the website partner to build and/or test any new functionality.
- Set up servers: The site’s hosting partner sets up a number of servers (in some cases 10-20+) to ensure that its bandwidth is adequate to support the large influx of visitors without crashing. Usually, the servers feature replication technology as well as utilize a cloud-based CDN (content delivery network), which stores website content in mutliple locations across the globe to speed up delivery.
- Extensive testing: After the servers are set up and ready to go, extensive load tests are performed with a number that far exceeds the expected amount. Popular products are cached in the CDN for quick retrieval, and servers directly handled the non-cached pages such as shopping carts. Other functionalities, including purchasing funnels, goal completion rates, and more, are tested during this time.
- Create a checklist: Approximately two weeks prior to kickoff, a checklist is created and distributed to each team member involved in the project. It provides a detailed “play-by-play” of everything that needs to get done before the commercial is aired. Each team member has specific responsibilities such as load testing, code freezes, turning off unnecessary third-party tools, checking fire walls, activating servers, preparing certain caches, and much more.
- All hands on deck: When game day offically arrives, it’s all hands on deck. Server specialists, programmers, and other essential team members are diligently monitoring traffic, load balance, and other vital components of website functionality. The team stands by ready to make quick adjustments to the playbook to ensure each side leaves Super Bowl Sunday a winner.
Super Bowl LVI is this Sunday, February 13, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. CT, and Americaneagle.com is ready to do what it does best. For more information regarding our hosting and security expertise, visit our services page.
Kicking Off a New Pro Football Hall of Fame Site
In addition to the Big Game kickoff this weekend, we’re excited to announce the kickoff of a new Pro Football Hall of Fame website. Headquartered in Canton, Ohio, the Hall has been a long-standing customer of Americaneagle.com’s. The new website, built entirely on the Kentico platform, took more than two years to complete.
The strategy team at Americaneagle.com took a deep dive into the current site, providing UX (user experience) analytics as well as looking at other areas of improvement. The new design is substantially different and its focus revolves around the theme of the Hall of Famers as heroes of the game.
The new website also features an ecommerce store with team merchandise, tickets, collectibles, online exhibits, a rich media section, and an information-packed history of pro football section. The user experience has been greatly enhanced so all of the information is easily found and presented. For the new website, Americaneagle.com implemented the Kentico platform, a leading web content management system for building websites, online stores, intranets, and Web 2.0 community sites.
Click here to browse the Hall’s new website. And, watch out! Your favorite professional football player may just be the next hall of famer.