As the summer air cools, and the world-cup fever (finally) dies down, the U.S. prepares itself for the next big hype: that’s right, it’s NFL Season. And as the NFL kicks off, ushering in a fresh round of hopeful rookies, long-standing rivalries, and a whole new dimension of defensive penalties, it brings with it one of the largest audiences in U.S. broadcasting. In fact, this season alone boasts 21 major marketing sponsors with a record $1.1 billion being poured into NFL themed promotional advertising – an odd fact considering the poor overall image garnered by the NFL during its last season, which included arrests, dog-fights, and head coach cheating scandals. Despite the rocky press of late, however, the NFL still remains a huge opportunity for advertisers, one which has seen a 10% boost in advertising partnerships over the last year alone.
So what’s so special about the NFL, you ask? According to Theresa Howard of USAToday, the NFL’s attraction lies chiefly in its dedicated fan-base and wide audience – an attraction which provides the ability to reach numerous target markets, and create favorable brand impressions through their mere association with the league. Its major promotional partnerships vary from brands such as Gatorade to its long-running friendship with Campbell’s Chunky Soup, from beverages like Coors and Pepsi, to the mail carrier, FedEx. And the promotional strategies used are as varied as the brands behind them. Gatorade’s newest campaign features football favorites as comic superheroes stretching from online ads to bottle packaging. FedEx and Campbell’s, on the other hand, are set to create positive corporate images through charity promotions, enacting campaigns that donate money to team or player charities based on tackles and game results.
Despite the varied promotional tactics, and perhaps also the current stigmas attached to the NFL itself, the National Football League remains an invaluable tool for advertisers. And the lure of its fan-base is making one thing clear: If you’re not advertising with the NFL, you’re not scoring in the audience’s endzone.
Account Services AP