According to an ESPN article, the NFL announced on Wednesday that Super Bowl 50 will be graphically represented using standard Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals, which the league has been using since Super Bowl V in 1971.
That means a 50 instead of an L.
The league's vice president of brand and creative claims it's just a one year thing because the "L" wasn't pleasing to the eye. After trying 73 iterations, they decided to go with this one:
Without even seeing the other 73 iterations, I would have to agree that 50 makes sense over the L. But I'm sure it wasn't just a visual decision. 50 years is pretty monumental so the league should make a big deal about it.
It's also nice to see the league create some brand consistency over the past few years by introducing the Lombardi Trophy and going with a silver metallic palette while still including the host city in the background.
In retrospect, the past branding looks chaotic and a bit childish...