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An inside view of the 365 days leading up to the greatest event in American sport.
More Americans watch the Super Bowl than vote in presidential elections. Cities compete for the lucrative rights to host a game, and ad agencies, merchandisers, security personnel, and celebrity party planners quarterback their own teams starting a year in advance. Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday for sports fans, who purchase 1.5 million large-screen TVs in the week before the game, attend one of 7.5 million parties, and eat more food than on any day other than Thanksgiving (according to the California Avocado Commission, Americans consume more than eight million pounds of guacamole on this single day).
In The Billion Dollar Game, New York Times bestselling author Allen St. John gets rare access to the people and corporations that mastermind this iconic event. He goes into the FOX Sports broadcast booth with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, and the longtime director/producer team of Artie Kempner and Richie Zyontz. St. John gets a front-row seat in the Madison Avenue conference rooms where the massive Anheuser-Busch campaign is being tested in focus groups, and he takes readers behind-the-scenes with stadium architect Peter Eisenman, and the billion-dollar deals brokered in Phoenix preceding Super Bowl XLII. Covering the political snafus, the organizational nightmares, and the well-oiled hype machine, St. John weaves a fascinating portrait of the National Football League and the Super Bowl--and examines how all the elements miraculously come together to create the biggest cultural phenomenon in American sport.Amazon Exclusive: Allen St. John on The Billion Dollar Game Why did I write a book about what goes on behind the scenes at the Super Bowl? Because no one had ever done it before.
My editor Jason Kaufman, who was also the editor of The Da Vinci Code, called me up one day to talk about our next book project and he wondered if I’d be interested in writing a book about the Super Bowl, not only as a sporting event, but as a cultural phenomenon and an economic engine, and even as an unofficial national holiday. I immediately recognized this as an amazing idea, and we were both shocked that no one had ever done it before.
Once I started writing, I understood why. This wasn’t an easy book to write. The Super Bowl is so enormous that all the stories could fill 10 books. I was lucky enough to find the very best stories--watching a world-class architect build a state-of-the-art stadium to host the game, the backstage preparations for the sizzling hot Playboy party, the controlled chaos in the FOX Sports television truck, that heart-stopping moment when they lost power only moment before Prince’s half-time show. Over more than a year of reporting the book, I got unprecedented access to the Super Bowl, and the people who make it run.
The result is a book packed with star-studded stories--and an amazing conclusion--that will thrill any sports fan. But The Billion Dollar Game is also a business book in the best sense of the term. The people who make the Super Bowl happen are all the very best at what they do, and from them can’t help but provide the kind of lessons that will help you handle those third-and-three moments in your life and your career. And, of course, watching all of this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and The Billion Dollar Game is my chance to share it. I hope you learn as much--and have as much fun--as I did.
(Photo © Jennifer May)
This incorrectly-titled book is written by a sportswriter who loves to hear himself "talk" on paper, giving inconsequential details instead of getting right to the point. Read morePublished on August 10, 2009 by Mediaman
St. John makes the case (and who could argue?) that the Super Bowl is one of, if not the, biggest day in American culture, judged purely by how many people watch the same event at... Read morePublished on January 31, 2009 by Fran S. Beilinson
A great idea for a book, pulled off nicely by author Allen St. John. I could have used a little less on the Playboy party (which has been cancelled for the 09 game) and more on... Read morePublished on January 31, 2009 by Joseph C. Sweeney
Except for last year's game, won by the Giants, this is more fun than any Super Bowl I can remember. Read morePublished on January 30, 2009 by Allen Barra
The Billion Dollar Game has more to do with the soup-to nuts of getting the rights and putting on a show as opposed to the actual SHOW. Allen St. Read morePublished on January 30, 2009 by Curt Buckler
St. John would have readers believe that the XLII Super Bowl brought $1 billion+ to the Arizona area. Read morePublished on January 27, 2009 by George Bush