The Super Bowl is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League (NFL) to determine the league champion. It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, replacing the NFL Championship Game. Since 2022, the game is played on the second Sunday in February. Prior Super Bowls were played on Sundays in early to mid-January from 1967 to 1978, late January from 1979 to 2003, except 2002[lower-alpha 1], and the first Sunday of February from 2004 to 2021. Winning teams are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for the coach of the Green Bay Packers who won the first two Super Bowls. Due to the NFL restricting use of its "Super Bowl" trademark, it is frequently referred to as the "big game" or other generic terms by non-sponsoring corporations. The day the game is played is often referred to as "Super Bowl Sunday" or simply "Super Sunday".
|First played||January 15, 1967|
|Trophy||Vince Lombardi Trophy|
|Recent and upcoming games|
|Super Bowl LVII|
State Farm Stadium
(February 12, 2023)
|Super Bowl LVIII|
(February 11, 2024)
The game was created as part of a 1966 merger agreement between the NFL and the competing American Football League (AFL) to have their best teams compete for a championship. It was originally called the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the "Super Bowl" moniker was adopted in 1969's Super Bowl III. The first four Super Bowls from 1967 to 1970 were played before the merger, with the NFL and AFL each winning two. After the merger in 1970, the 10 AFL teams and three NFL teams formed the American Football Conference (AFC), while the remaining 13 NFL teams formed the National Football Conference (NFC). All games since 1971's Super Bowl V have been played between the winners of each conference's championship game, with the NFC leading the AFC 27–26.
Of the NFL's current 32 teams, 20 (11 NFC, 9 AFC) have won a Super Bowl and 15 (8 AFC, 7 NFC) hold multiple titles. The AFC's Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have the most Super Bowl titles at six each; the Patriots also have the most appearances at 11. Among NFC franchises, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have the most titles with five each and the Cowboys have the most appearances with eight. The Patriots and the Denver Broncos of the AFC hold the record for the most defeats in the Super Bowl, with five each. The Baltimore Ravens of the AFC and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFC are the only franchises to be undefeated in multiple Super Bowls, having each won two. Among the 12 teams who have not won a Super Bowl, the AFC's Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars, and the NFC's Detroit Lions are the only four to have not appeared in the game.
The Super Bowl is among the world's most-watched single sporting events and frequently commands the largest audience among all American broadcasts during the year. It is second only to the UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual club sporting event worldwide, and the seven most-watched broadcasts in American television history are Super Bowls. Commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year because of the high viewership, leading to companies regularly developing their most expensive advertisements for the broadcast and commercial viewership becoming an integral part of the event. The Super Bowl is also the second-largest event for American food consumption, behind Thanksgiving dinner.