Why the marketing of the NFL stomps the competition

The NFL shows its strengths as one of the top brands in the U.S. consumer market. It towers over its sporting competitors and has a stranglehold on some of the last live events people want to watch every week during the season – and the Super Bowl is the one can’t miss live event every year. In recognition of the 2014-2015 season opener this Thursday, we have listed five aspects of the NFL Marketing program that we can all learn from.  Check out the links below each section to see more related content.


1. Partners that are great

The NFL has undoubtably done a superb job of leveraging its brand through excellent choices in marketing partners. The NFL has wisely built its own licensing company that has a strong mechanism for vetting potential opportunities. The final outcome shows excellent conversion of marketing to dollars though its audience, however the genius is that the corporate partners are inadvertently marketing the NFL for the NFL . Stop and watch the deluge of football and NFL themed commercials on any Sunday…simply put – a brilliant strategy.

NFLs own Licensing company

2. The NFL brand police

The branding police are watching! The NFL has taken illegal and unlicensed use of its logo and Super Bowl name that many businesses and non profits have been issues cease and desist letters, and sues without remorse when necessary. This might feel a bit heavy handed to many from the outside, but this protects the strong and valuable partnerships created with the NFL and lets the brand choose which deals will suit its needs.  I do not dare use the NFL logo even for this article out of fear of reprisal!


3. Turning fantasy into reality

The NFL has taken the ball and run with the fantasy football game focus. It has even taken the Pro-bowl and reformatted the game to feel more like the very popular community virtual league that so many participate in at home and office. This is no accident, and by its design the NFL has increased viewership in the United stats by 12 percentage point in the last decade! By embracing this format, individuals have started to view games from all over the league because they have less loyalty to an individual team which will surely continue to accelerate the growth and viewership for many more years to come.

fantasy becomes reality for the NFLs pro bowl

how fantasy football has transformed the nfl

4. Innovation for the future

Innovation is the recipe for the future success of any business, and the NFL has done a dynamite job of recognizing the impact on affiliate partners and has started to invest in many innovative media technologies to build equity in the future. Though the NFL has the fewest games in the sport, it makes every opportunity into an event in its own right. The NFL draft has transformed an otherwise boring process into a major media event, live “Tweets” “Facebook” posts by the minute, and tickers across many stations are pushing the event live as it happens in real time and in many areas in the country is a must see event via online or on pay television. You can also see evidence of how even training camps are becoming news staples when in the past they were side notes.

10 tech innovations that changed the nfl

2012 most innovative companies

5. Story Building

Though the NFL is not at the top of the game with social media, they do understand how personal stories touch their viewers. So they make extreme efforts to market the many stories, rivalries to get everyone motivated for each game – drawing from old grudge matched from years gone by to even the most recent polarizing games. The NFL gets an extra point in this marketing zone for certain.

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See the original article here Geoff Livingston


About Matt Smith

Matt Smith - Creative Director - Leveraging over 22 years of diverse agency and graphic industry experience, Matt oversees all visual elements internally and for our clients to ensure the highest quality results for all graphics and dimensional structures.

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