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How the NFL Excels at Content Marketing

The National Football League has put together an impressive, multi-faceted marketing program for brands and advertisers. With a new Sr. VP of NFL Media in place, the league hopes to again create another record-breaking year.

It’s pre-season football time around the United States, and NFL fans are salivating already, waiting for the official NFL season to kick off on Thursday, September 8th, with the Carolina Panthers taking on the Denver Broncos, and the rest of the league playing on Sunday, September 11th.
The NFL excels at content marketing, branded sponsorships, video streams and licensed partnerships. Through these ventures, the NFL earned over $13 billion in revenues in the 2015-2016 season. From that total, Bloomberg reported that the league’s 32 teams each received about $222 million apiece in individual revenues, which come mainly from TV licensing rights, ticket sales and ancillary partnerships.

Changes in Marketing

There were moves on the marketing side as well. Just before pre-season, the NFL announced that Julie Haddon, veteran marketing strategist for film studio Dreamworks and MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers, was the league’s new Senior VP of Marketing for NFL Media. Her new role, according to the league announcement, gives her responsibility for all brand and marketing strategies for the NFL and related properties.
From the Red Zone to the NFL Online, that content marketing oversight will certainly include a lot of video. The league has already excelled in recent years by allowing fans to access NFL content online via smartphones, tablets and PCs. Last season, the NFL used Yahoo for streaming games, along with live streams on NFL NOW, NFL Mobile, NFL Game Pass and other properties. This season, the league plans to stream through its site several hundred preseason and regular season games, game replays, Classic games and Super Bowl games.

Deals for Content

Deals for content have been happening already this year. The league will stream 10 games this season on Twitter, per a deal between the NFL and Twitter earlier this year. This ensures massive content sharing on Twitter and to other social networks as well for the content.
Major brands will also have to dish out the dollars for key placement on The league is offering all types of home page ad packages, editorial sponsorships and sponsored weekly brand options. Carmaker Lexus signed on to become the sponsor of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football Halftime Show. It’s the right move for Lexus, which hopes to reach the NFL’s coveted premium demographic. In 2015, nearly 200 million viewers tuned into NFL programming content; that’s about 67% of of all potential U.S. viewers.
Creating great content with its vast catalog of films, interviews, and analyses, the NFL continues to be the dominant marketing voice on screens everywhere from its official start in September to the deluxe marketing event, the 2017 Super Bowl, which will be held on February 5, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. It’s a certainty the Super Bowl will be as big as Texas itself.

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