Super Bowl Media Day is a circus of 2,000 journalists trying to ward each other off to interview 70 or so players and coaches at a time. Some media personnel will do whatever it takes to make the interviewees notice them, and this year's edition in Indianapolis was no different.

By Darren Rovell

A Super Bowl advertisement is the most expensive ad in television, and with the game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots expected to be the most-watched event of the year, the 2012 edition may provide more than the usual bang for the buck.

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Slideshow: Biggest Super Bowl Ad Spenders

After all, it's a unique opportunity for advertisers because Super Bowl ads have essentially become in-game content for fans watching at home.

This year's ads on NBC's broadcast cost $3.5 million on average for every 30 seconds. Which advertisers are willing to spend that kind of money year after year? More than a few. Here are the top 10 Super-Bowl advertisers, ranked by total ad dollars spent in the past 10 years (2002-2011), according to media valuation firm Kantar Media.

Click here for CNBC's complete slideshow of Biggest Super Bowl Ad Spenders.

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-- Questions? Comments? Email Or check out more Sports Biz with Darren Rovell.

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By Matt McCue

While many celebrate the Super Bowl with parties at home, the week leading up to the big game has turned into a 24/7 bacchanal featuring booze, scantily clad women, and a roster of A-list and has-been names looking to party in the host city. From Playboy and Maxim to Diddy and Usher, everyone is looking to outdo the other, and make a little cash in the process.

These events that promise red-carpet crowds don't come cheap. Tickets, when available, start in the triple digits and skyrocket from there. Last year in Dallas, Diddy didn't -- say that five times fast -- hold just one party. He held three, on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday night. Usher, too, was a busy man. In addition to performing at Mark Cuban's party, he also joined the Black Eyed Peas at halftime and then hosted his own soirée that night. His after-party, which started before the fourth quarter finished, cost $20,000 for table service.

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Slideshow: Outrageous Super Bowl Parties

Playboy and Maxim stick to what they do best -- appealing to men through hot women. Playboy rounds up the Playmates for the big event, while Maxim has been known truck in groups of women to keep the male-to-female ratio in the former's favor. This year, Rolling Stone will join these magazines and host its first Super Bowl party in Indianapolis. The late-night event will have a quadruple bill of LMFAO, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes and Lupe Fiasco. Like most of these shindigs, it will have a combination of regular Joes who have to pay to get in and a handful of stars who will give the party a certain celebrity credibility.

-- Click here to see slideshow of Lavish Athlete Birthday Bashes

But the most exclusive Super Bowl party may not take place in the host city. Last year, President Obama, a huge sports fan, invited members of his Cabinet and Congress (oh, and J-Lo and Marc Anthony) to join him at the White House for a viewing party. The menu included game-friendly foods like brats and chicken wings, but the highlight might have been the White House's signature Honey Ale.

Click here for's complete slideshow of Outrageous Super Bowl Parties.

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The best part of the emergence of parity in the last decade in the NFL is that a host of Super Bowls that have gone down to the wire, thanks to some relatively even match-ups. But the run also signals the end of an era, and makes a few marks set in the last 46 years seem impossible to top. Here are five Super Bowl records that likely won't ever be broken.

There you have it. Think it's off? Duke it out in the comments.

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By Jessica Naziri

Sometimes the spectators at sporting events can draw as much attention as the players.

They'll no doubt be plenty of stars popping up on TV during the Super Bowl, but it's quite another thing to be a loyal fan, who shows up on a regular basis.

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Slideshow: Die-Hard Celebrity Sports Fans

These avid and loyal fans spend big bucks to sit up close — often in the first row. Take "Sopranos" actor Steve Schirripa, a longtime New York Yankees baseball fan who likes to sit behind home plate, where tickets cost up to $2,500 a game. Or "Fantastic Four" star Jessica Alba, who often sits courtside at Golden State Warrior basketball games. A premium seat at the team's Oakland arena can cost $1,700. And of course, there's three-time Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson, who goes to just about every Los Angeles Lakers home game. He has held courtside season tickets for more than three decades. Courtside tickets to Lakers games can cost more than $5,000.

Who are these die-hard celebrity sports fans? Check out the slideshow to see who made our list of celebrity sports fans and how much one of their tickets might cost.

Oh, and by the way, we've excluded those celebs with a financial or personal interest in the team. So sorry, George W. Bush; even though you are a big Texas Rangers baseball fan, you were once part-owner of the team. And Jay-Z: We know you're a Nets fan, but you, too, are an owner.

Click here for CNBC's complete slideshow of Die-Hard Celebrity Sports Fans.

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-- Questions? Comments? Email Or check out more Sports Biz with Darren Rovell.

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As you count down the hours until the Super Bowl, imagine all of the superstar teams full of expensive free agent acquisitions. Maybe the Philadelphia Eagles or Washington Redskins come to mind. Often, these teams don't emerge as successful as everyone anticipated. 

Here's why. 

Great football teams are built around three types of players: 1) superstars who carry the team, 2) young signees who bring quality far beyond their paycheck size and 3) journeymen players who fill small but important roles.

The best teams don't rely solely on spending money to acquire players. Instead, they find gems in late rounds of the draft, bargain free agents or even undrafted free agents.

The two teams in this year's Super Bowl, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots each have their share of bargain players. 

With the average NFL salary up to $1.9 million and the highest paid players reaching around $20 million, these are six players who really bring maximum value to their team:

New York Giants

1. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE

The Giants expected big things out of Pierre-Paul, the 15th overall player in the 2010 draft. Perhaps that is why they offered him such a lucrative contract with a 5-year, $20,050,000 offer. He's making $2.8 million this year, and sure, it isn't cheap by anyone's standards. But he's exceeded expectations, recording 86 tackles and 16.5 sacks in only his second season. His play was enough to have him voted All-Pro as a Defensive End. Lucky for the Giants, they have the South Florida "hoss" signed through the 2014 season, when he should be in his prime. Even then they will be paying him under $4 million per season.

2. Victor Cruz, WR

The undrafted free agent from the University of Massachusetts has made a career out of proving people wrong. He started the season as the Giants fourth wide receiver, but other players' injuries have brought him into the spotlight. As the breakout receiver of the year, Cruz caught 82 passes for 1,536 yards, which is a single-season franchise record for the Giants. Add to that nine touchdowns and Cruz is a steal at $405,000. Next year, the Giants will still only have to pay Cruz $490,000, so Eli Manning will have a great young target for touchdown passes.

3. Hakeem Nicks, WR

Nicks was the other big-play wide receiver for the Giants this year hauling in 76 catches for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns. So, while his salary is about average for an NFL player (at $1,875,000), his numbers have been anything but average. His 100-plus yard and two touchdown performances in the Giants’ first two playoff games against the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers helped catapult the Giants into the Super Bowl. Fortunately for the Giants, Nicks doesn’t become a free agent until 2014, so they can expect several more years of production from him on a modest salary.

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New England Patriots

4. Kyle Arrington, DB

Arrington makes $725,000, and his two forced fumbles against the Denver Broncos contributed to the 45-10 blowout, putting the Patriots back into the AFC Championship game. In his third year out of Hofstra, Arrington registered 88 tackles, and was tied for the league lead with seven interceptions. The Patriots have this impressive cornerback locked up for one more year before he becomes a free agent, but even next year he will make just over $1 million.

5. Rob Gronkowski, TE

In Gronkowksi's monster season, he set the NFL single-season record for receiving touchdowns for tight ends and is arguably the best buy on this list. He didn't just catch 17 touchdowns; he logged 90 catches for 1327 yards and was voted starting tight end at the 2012 Pro Bowl. Best of all for the Patriots, they get all that talent for $845,000. In 2010, Gronkowski signed a 4-year, $4.44 million contract and his base salary pays him only $405k, but a $440k annual bonus bumps it up a little. Still, the Pats have the record-breaking tight end locked up through 2013 where they will still only pay him just over $1 million.

Building a winning football team is a lot like asset allocation. You never want to put all of your eggs in one basket, or in this case, all of your money into a few players that break the bank. The best owners and coaches know how to look for potential, investing early in possibly overlooked players that can grow into champions.

[For previous best value athletes, check out The Best Value Players of the 2012 NFL Conference Championships and The Best Player Bargains in the 2011 World Series.]

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Joe Paterno was head coach at Penn State for nearly 46 seasons in which he won a record 409 games and two national championships. Paterno died Sunday, two months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 85.

His coaching career ended in November when the university fired him in the aftermath of sexual-abuse charges brought against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Here is a look at Paterno through the years:

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By Darren Rovell and Paul Toscano

Last year's Super Bowl matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers was memorable for many reasons, but one key aspect missing from it was a squad of professional cheerleaders. This year, a team with cheerleaders is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl, after Pittsburgh, the only AFC playoff team this year without cheerleaders, was eliminated.

In the off-season, one of the best ways for teams to generate buzz and get significant page views on their websites is to have a strong cheerleader page. So we went through all 32 teams, including the ones still in the playoffs, and ranked the top cheerleading squads, taking in consideration everything from presentation of the cheerleaders online, to fan interaction, community outreach and overall success of the cheerleading teams.

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Slideshow: The NFL's 10 Best Cheerleading Squads 2012

Although there is certainly a measure of subjectivity that goes into rankings of this nature, the cheerleader websites and the team's cheerleader-related marketing campaigns were the major factors in determining this list.

In 2011, 26 teams had cheerleaders for games and have found ways, especially online, to generate revenue from their top cheer teams. As valuations go, NFL teams are hesitant to put a dollar figure on their cheerleading squads, but the use of cheerleaders as a vehicle for marketing is certainly in the public eye.

Here is our ranking of the top 10 teams that make the most of their cheerleading squads, both on and off the field.

Click here for CNBC's complete slideshow of the Top 10 NFL Cheerleading Squads 2012.

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By Brian Reed

It's all fun and games until somebody takes a mistress. Or five.

Celebrity gossip is all the more juicy when it involves divorce court, not to mention millions of dollars.

In the past few years, we've seen our share of high-profile, messy divorces between athletes and their spouses -- some due to accusations of infidelity. Many of these athletes did sign prenuptial agreements, but they still lost a fortune after walking down the aisle. Here are our top six:

The Investing Answer: No one wants to talk about the possibility of divorce even before his or her marriage starts; some people think even talking about the concept of a prenuptial agreement is a guaranteed sign that a marriage will fail.

If you have significant assets or a highly marketable skill like these elite athletes, you'd have to be a fool not to sign a prenup before you get married. Learn the most important things about prenups in this InvestingAnswers feature, "4 Things Everyone Should Know Before Signing a Prenuptial Agreement."

Still, when it comes to the rich and famous, a prenup is no guarantee the divorce won't cost millions. You can always opt for a postnuptial agreement -- learn how by reading "4 Ways a Post-Nup Can Save Your Marriage."

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By Darren Rovell

It's the end of the NFL regular season, and that means it's time to find out who is among the most popular players this season. In a year where the National Football League was embroiled in its longest labor dispute ever, the popularity of this multibillion-dollar sports juggernaut has still managed to grow.

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Slideshow: Best-Selling NFL Jerseys

An important component of football merchandising is jersey sales — which can be seen as a proxy for the most popular players in the sport. It's better than a poll because people have voted with their wallets. Each year, releases the best-selling jerseys in the NFL and its list is presented here. This following represents jersey sales from April 1 to Dec. 31. The 2011 list published first on

So, which NFL jerseys are this year's best sellers? Check out the slideshow to find out:

Click here for CNBC's complete slideshow of the Best-Selling NFL Jerseys.

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