Super Bowl XLIV! The ads seem like they're gonna be only meh. So let's move on to another, crucial piece of the design: The branding itself.
One mandatory from the NFL was that they wanted the logo to be more representative of the power and boldness of football as opposed to overtly representing the host city, like it had done in the past. Our response was to allow the city's personality to come through the system's color palette and support graphics.
The theme of the 2009 regular season was "Own the Moment," and we used that powerful mindset to develop the creative foundation for the identity. This foundation was the idea of a strong competitive duality; the Super Bowl is two teams, from two conferences fighting for that ultimate victory. The design reflects this by having a bold sense of symmetry and the upright / ball lockup provides a central, relevant focal point.
As Brand New points out, this is actually the first time that the goal-posts have appeared in a Super Bowl logo, presumably because it's so obvious. But hey, this is the Super Bowl, not a Dutch fashion brand. Sometimes obvious works:
I'm not entirely convinced by the goal post but I think it's one of those concepts that is so obvious most people simply avoid it and, well, sometimes you shouldn't avoid the obvious. Since the goal post is secondary to the typography, it works well in this context.
But backing up a bit, let's check out the schematic that Attik produced, explaining the overall design:
The whole oppositional thing could have come through clearer—the logo instead looks like the corner of a very big building. But still, doesn't the thing look pretty tough, compared to past logos? I mean, just look at this poncey logo for XLIII:
That thing looks only too eager to prove its manliness with the outsize "XLIII," to make up for the swoopy, starry touches and the adolescent, George of the Jungle type. By contrast, the new logo is RARRRRR! Only fitting for a Super Bowl so committed to conservative values and wary of any taint of homosexuality.