Navigating Sponsorship Opportunities for the 2023-24 NFL Season
- September 15, 2023
- SponsorPulse Staff
But fully grasping the potential and opportunity of the National Football League can be a rocky road for brands.
To help you call the right play for your brand, SponsorPulse breaks down the sponsorship playbook and highlights the new trends to engage with the NFL.
NFL Sponsorships: A Touchdown Opportunity
According to SponsorPulse's data, the NFL reigns supreme among all sponsorship properties in the US:
Young, Diverse, and Connected: Over 137 million Americans between 13 and 64 engage with the NFL, and 58% of those engage with it weekly.
A Revenue Machine: The NFL generated $1.88 billion in sponsorship revenues in 2023 — representing a remarkable 4% growth YoY.
With such impressive numbers, it's no surprise that brands are eager to jump in on the action.
However, it's not just the quantity; it's the quality of engagement that sets NFL fans apart.
All other major leagues in the US trail compared to the NFL’s sponsorship opportunity, as the latter presents dominance across multiple high-quality metrics like Excitement, Momentum, and Favourability.
SponsorPulse helps you break down the different alternatives with America's most beloved league and the landscape to maximize your sponsorship ROI.
A Playbook of Sponsorship Alternatives
The broad reach and connectivity for engagement between the league and its fans offer a diverse ‘sponsorship toolbox’ that can fit your needs and adapt to your audience. We compiled a list of relevant alternatives based on where SponsorPulse data found exciting opportunities:
Media and OTT Streaming
In today's cord-cutting age, it's no surprise that digital and broadcast opportunities within the NFL are booming.
Per SponsorPulse data, users from media companies and over-the-top (OTT) platforms — such as NBC Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, and DAZN — all show Engagement scores with the NFL of over 80%.
Whether it's the NFL's strong appeal or the excitement of OTT streaming, these high engagement rates suggest that digital platforms offer an attractive opportunity for sponsors to connect with passionate American football fans.
The Rise of Sports Betting
After the Supreme Court struck down the PASPA in 2018, sports betting properties have been competing aggressively to get most of the attention of NFL fans.
A recent survey by the American Gaming Association revealed that a record 73.5 million Americans plan to wager on the NFL this season — a stunning 60% spike from last year.
SponsorPulse data support this trend — users of brands like DraftKings and FanDuel score an impressive 85% Engagement with the NFL.
The surge in popularity of sports betting presents a unique avenue for brands to tap into the enthusiasm of NFL fans.
Historically, brands like Pepsi, Nike, Verizon, and Gatorade have capitalized on title sponsorships with the NFL.
These prestigious positions enjoy excellent visibility and association, significantly boosting their brand recognition with the NFL.
Today, brands like Microsoft and Apple continue to leverage the opportunity to capitalize through partnerships like the Sideline of the Future by Microsoft Surface and the Apple Music Halftime Show.
Data from SponsorPulse support this, as the opportunity to convert Microsoft and Apple users into purchases is higher in the NFL relative to the general population.
Products, Services, and Official Partnerships
Becoming an official partner or sponsoring a specific product or service of the NFL provides brands with exclusive rights and allows them to tailor their message to a targeted audience.
Brands such as Bud Light, which has +10% higher Intensity and Consideration than the average NFL fan, along with Little Caesars, which scores +10% higher Momentum and Excitement than average, have effectively leveraged sponsorships to become synonymous with the NFL action.
Digitally driven brands can tap a dedicated audience as modern fans engage with the NFL through new channels and mobile devices.
A great example? Meta’s VR game Pro Era, where gamers play as the Quarterback of their favorite team in a VR headset.
Per SponsorPulse data, those who ‘visited the metaverse’ show a substantial advantage over the average consumer in Engagement, Intensity, and Consideration for the NFL — suggesting multiple opportunities within this demographic too.
Besides its reach, brands leverage these opportunities to increase brand awareness and generate engagement.
Join the Winning Team
With the 2024 NFL season in full swing, it's time for your brand to take advantage of these unparalleled sponsorship opportunities.
Ready to score big in 2024?
Create a free SponsorPulse account today, dive into the world of NFL sponsorships, and make your brand the 2023-24 season MVP!