A recent installment of Think with Google had a topical piece on football. In it is the following chart showing the trends in "American Football" broken out by the terms that the search contained: What, Who, When, Where, and Why.
The annual spike is the playoff season.
|American Football Searches: What, Who, When, Where and Why|
Besides the obvious point that people look more for facts than explanations there appears to be something else.
Episodic events create step changes and the pattern is cumulative.
The latter is somewhat related to the network effect, but with Internet penetration probably close to saturation or at least hitting the second flat slope of growth one might not expect the same growth for the next five years.
What I do find interesting is that the level doesn't go back to status quo ante kickoff, there appear to be slight residual effects.
The marketing implication is two-fold. First, if you want 'superbowl' like results you need to create momentum thru repeated episodes. Second, the window of time in which you measure the success of a campaign should be broken into at least three parts: Pre-Campaign, In-Campaign and Post-Campaign.