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19:11

The Visual Appeal of Super Bowl Sunday

In case you haven’t heard or seen, Super Bowl XLV TV coverage begins on Fox Sports at 2 p.m ET today, with the kickoff at 6:29 p.m. ET.

Fans, sponsors, and more are pulling out the stops for what’s being described as a classic matchup between two old-school, cheerleader-less football franchises in an unexpectedly icy stadium.

For a sport that has never failed to capture national attention, it’s interesting to see the size of each team’s respective fan nations are in landmass — and to notice how the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers areas are almost evenly matched.

Here’s graphic designer Jared Fanning‘s take:

The United States of Football by Jared Fanning

A slightly different, visually exciting version was posted on I Love Charts:

The United States of Football, from I Love Charts

National spectacle knows no bounds, however, and Visa, smartly, is taking advantage with dynamic visualizations of Twitter chatter, including a look at football-related trending topics in the days leading up to today’s big game:

Visa Super Bowl Twitter trending topics map

Not everyone will be focused on Super Bowl pre-game coverage, or at least that’s what Animal Planet is counting on.

The Puppy Bowl is back, offering entertainment to those who prefer tumbling fuzzy animals to the charging bulls of the gridiron. Broadcast starts at 3 p.m. ET (tape delayed to 3 p.m. Pacific).

Meanwhile, advertisers have put up big bank to be a part of today’s big game. “Fox was seeking between $2.8 million and $3 million for 30 seconds of time,” writes AdAge, which rounds up facts on all the spots.

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