It was the most-watched Super Bowl in NFL history. More than 91 million viewers tuned in to see if Tom Brady and the New England Patriots could complete a perfect season by defeating Eli Manning and the New York Giants. The Giants entered the game as a 12 point underdog and won three road games in order to advance to the Super Bowl.
Ultimately, the Giants won the Super Bowl XLII on a pass from Manning to Plaxico Burress with less than one minute to go. The victory brought joy to Giants fans who last celebrated a championship in 1991 (Super Bowl XXV). As for Patriots fans, there’s no doubt that the loss still stings today.
Fast forward to 2012, the Giants and Patriots survived the NFL lockout and they are back in the Super Bowl to face each other in a much anticipated rematch.
Super Bowl XLVI is the clash of the owner titans. Kraft vs. Mara and Tisch – Winner Takes All.
Here’s the Tale of the Tape…
Mara and Tisch Families
If you had the chance to invest $500 ($6165 inflation adjustment) in a risky business and after 87 years of blood, sweat, and tears it would be worth $1.3 billion, would you do it? Yes, of course. That’s the story of the Tim Mara and the New York Giants.
In 1925, he took a chance and purchased the team when football operated in the shadow of other sports, and the United States was on the verge of its first economic meltdown: The Great Depression.
Mara probably had no idea that his investment would grow exponentially, and today his grandson, John Mara, is fulfilling the family legacy by serving as the President and CEO of the franchise. He’s joined by co-owners, Jonathan Tisch and Steve Tisch, who stepped into the Treasure and Chairman & Executive Vice President roles respectively in 2005 (Their father Preston Robert Tisch purchased 50% of the team in 1991).
The Giants have the second-longest tenured family in the NFL, and they have won one Super Bowl under the current Mara and Tisch ownership team. Together they constructed the $1.4 billion MetLife Stadium and weathered the “seat license” storm; groomed a QB who is no longer known as “Peyton’s little brother”; stood by their head coach countless times when fans wanted him out; and worked long hours to ensure that football would be played this season.
How do you become a sports legend without stepping foot on the field? Figure out how to turn a bad team into a good one, and save it from being moved out of town.
When Robert Kraft purchased the Patriots in 1994, he paid a record $172 million. What was once a brave business move, has transformed into a sound business investment as the team is now valued at $1.4 billion.
Since buying the Patriots, Kraft built a 68,756 capacity stadium with a $325 million price tag; hired one of the smartest and toughest coaches in the league; advanced to five Super Bowls and won three (2002, 2004, 2005); signed a 199th draft QB who turned out to ; and helped end the 4 ½ month lockout with class and integrity.
And The Winner Is…
It’s estimated that the NFL is a $10 billion-a-year business, and 110 million viewers will watch the game on Sunday. Just looking at those numbers alone, it’s clear that both owners will certainly win this weekend. However, we all know that professional sports isn’t just about business, there are glorious wins and defeating losses. The battle will be settled on the field Super Bowl Sunday.