Since the first football game between AFL and NFL in 1967, the history of the Superbowl has become a storied tradition, but did you know that it wouldn’t be called the Superbowl until 1969?
The official game program of the 1969 match was proudly blazoned Super Bowl, making that program the thing that named one of the biggest institutions in American sport. Small wonder that the program has become a piece of history itself.
The result of that recognition is that those who can’t make it to the game also want the program that’s part of the whole experience, and additional editions have been published every year intended for distribution among those who aren’t directly attending. Like the game programs given out at the Superbowl itself, their cover design incorporates part of the design of the year’s ticket stub, making each year something special.
The programs themselves have grown since the early days, with the versions published for the past decade by H.O Zimman being around 240 pages, with a hundred pages or so of adverts leaving over a hundred and forty pages for beautiful photographs of the season and playoffs that have led to this point as well as in-depth profiles of the teams competing and the history of the Superbowl event to date.
Holographic covers have been introduced but that’s not the only new ground being broken – five years ago, Zimman began to officially publish the program digitally as well as physically, and the digital version has gone from strength to strength.
This level of distribution is a far cry from the Superbowl V game program, where only a few thousand copies made it as far as the game after the delivery truck spilled into a swamp, ruining many!
It’s safe to say that the Superbowl program is an important tradition.