Didn’t think football had anything to do with digital marketing? Guess again. It’s probably one of the largest campaigns you’ll see each year. The campaign starts in August with its preseason, and it runs all the way into the new year ending with the Super Bowl – an event that attracts millions of viewers in just a few hours. The official NFL Season has kicked off, and there wasn’t a lack of enthusiasm or marketing leading up to game day. It doesn’t take a sports fan to know football is back, because you more than likely have started to see it on your social media channels.
How Brands Work With the NFL
Like the World Cup, the NFL has a range of big-name sponsors that get on board each year to maximize the audience that the NFL reaches. Some recognizable official NFL sponsors include Castrol, Bridgestone, Anheuser-Busch, USAA, Ford, and now Pizza Hut. You can see all of these brands appear in commercials, in stores, and online for the next six months in affiliation with the NFL. Even though TV ratings for the NFL have declined, brands put $1.32 billion into sponsorships. The reason is simple: these brands can leverage the NFL’s wide reach, while the NFL gets in front of audiences for some of these brands. Beer drinkers and pizza lovers may become football fans thanks to these partnerships.
Brands reach out beyond the league to advertise on the team and player level too. Nike just signed Colin Kaepernick to be the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Because of the controversial nature surrounding Kaepernick, the campaign was talked about by nearly everyone. You’d have to live under a rock to not have seen at least one meme based on the Nike ad. The campaign worked so well, that analysts believe that the digital marketing campaign generated nearly $50 million in free publicity.
You business can learn a lot of lessons from these partnerships. Is your brand able to create any strategic partnerships so you can leverage both audiences? While your pockets may not be deep enough to secure a deal with the world’s biggest football league, you can find brands within your budget and audience size that may work. The key is getting creative and using tools outside of your industry helps increase relatability between you and your consumers.
Are you a business owner that is having a hard time managing your digital marketing, including social media? Are you struggling with where to start? KWSM offers annual Social Media Bootcamps for business owners to learn about Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, and Instagram. Our next Bootcamp will take place in October, and you can sign up here.