T-1: North American International Auto Show Econ Impact and Attd
Event Attendance Economic Impact
2015 NAIAS        803.6 K * $350 M – $450 M*
2015 College Football Playoff Final                        85.6 K                $308.6 M
2015 Super Bowl XLIX                        70.0 K*                $500.0 M*
2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final                        79.2 K                $268.5 M
2014 NBA Finals (5 game series)                        95.5 K1                $ 35.1 M2
2014 World Series (7 game series)                      290.9 K3                  $72.8 M4
2014 Super Bowl XLVIII                        82.5 K                $550.0 M
2011 Stanley Cup5 52.6 K / 75.4 K= 128.0 K $15 M/$10 M=$20.0 M
* projected; 1 Total of 5 game series (3 in SA, 2 in Miami); 2 $20.1 M from San Antonio, $15 M from Miami; 3 Total of 7 game series (4 games in KC, 3 games in SF); 4 $52.8 M from SF, $20 M from KC; 5 Data are only available for the 3 games held in Boston, no Economic Impact data are available for Stanley Cups since 2011. (We expanded all 2011 estms for entire series)


This year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will break attendance records and is expected to bring a boost to local economy b/t $350 M to $400 M. T-1 reveals the amazing data. The projected attendance for the now branded 25th North American International Auto Show is almost 804,000 (a record crowd). That attendance is greater than ANY 8 home game schedule for ANY NFL team. The DLS Cowboys led the league by totaling 700k in 8 home games. 804K also is greater than 25 of 30 (82%) NBA teams’ total home attendance last season & more than 25 of the 30 NHL’s total home attendance last season. (Each NBA & NHL team plays 81 home games). If you ADD ALL of the events’ attendances in T-1, the sum would be 831.7K or ONLY 25K more than NAIAS’s total projected attd for 2015. WOW!

Economic Impact

As for $$ & $EN$E, the NAIAS’s economic impact (b/t $350 M & $400 M) in each of the last 2 yrs is greater than the just completed College Championship Playoff Finals econ impact held in DLS ($309M) or the NCAA’s BB Finals (2014) which is identified as drawing $268 M in 2014. It also is easily 5 times the economic impact of last yr’s 7 game World Series (SF vs KC). Similarly, the NAIAS’ econ impact is 10.4 times the econ impact of 2014’s 5 game NBA Finals (b/t MI and SA). As well we estimate it to be about ¾ of the SB’s 2015’s econ impact in PHX, AZ, Feb 1st. Our estimated econ impact for the 2011 Stanley Cup with 3 games in BST & 4 in VCR is $25M±.The NAIAS is 15X that econ impact. If the NAIAS was a nation, there are 12 countries that have GDPs that are less than $375 M (or about 5% of world’s GDPs) including the Cook IS, the Faulkland IS and Montserrat.


Continuing our discussion of attd, it is likely that the 100,000+ people that will be traveling to AZ for SBXLIX, with NOT all be able to get tickets to the game, itself. While many will NOT see the game except on TV, no one will miss the celebration and festiveness of the Super Bowl. The difference for the NAIAS is that its attendance is NOT dependent on stadium seating. Since it is held in a major convention space, many people can & will attend. The fact that this event is 1 giant promotion for Detroit / Metro Detroit and motor vehicles in general, enhances its value, immeasurably. Individuals are willing to travel great distances, pay peak hotel rates, and tolerate crowds to review the city, its resurgence and Motown’s main claim to fame, its and the world’s automobiles. This is a marketing extravaganza like none other in the world!

Additionally, we must mention Cadillac’s Uber coup. Caddy has a tie-in with the ride service company, Uber. It is offering free rides in the downtown region, connecting the event and hotels to showcase new Cadillac models. Imagine the curiosity when people who work for Honda or whomever send for an Uber and see the Caddy as the transporter (for further details pls see media.cadillac.com, 01/09). WOW!

Also appearing this year are those ubiquitous auto show models (both those on 4 wheels & 2 legs). The 2 legged type (both men & women) are traditionally dismissed as “eye candy”. They however, are actually highly trained at both the explanation and demonstration of a car’s features—as well as collecting consumer impressions of new models. When you walk away from a car, watch as the 2 legged models, who were explaining the 4 wheeled ones to you, are now hurrying to enter everything you said into an iPad. For this juggling and disseminating information, collecting consumer impressions, and “looking” like a model these men and women make over $1,000 a day during the event—which including training and debriefing that can run as long as 2 wks (See John Stoll, WSJ for more detail).




  1. As far as media credentials go MLive.com notes that 5,025 world journalists have come to Detroit for the 2015 NAIAS. The Oregonian Live.com tells us 5,000+ worldwide media made SB 2014 their beat.

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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