- Hyundai announced in a news release that it will be the presenting sponsor for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" kickoff show and is continuing its official NFL sponsorship for the fourth season with traditional, digital and experiential marketing.
- As part of the partnership, the automaker is sponsoring a custom-branded content series, "Cover 2," that gives fans a look inside some of the NFL's best rivalries. The three-part series will feature a former player from each team playing that night to discuss the rivalry while driving around the home team's city in a Hyundai Santa Fe. Videos will run during the Ravens vs. the Steelers game on Sept. 30, Rams vs. 49ers on Oct. 21 and Packers vs. Vikings on Nov. 25. A 30-second promo of each video will air during the games that directs fans to HyundaiUSA.com to watch the full show.
- Hyundai is also sponsoring the 2018 NFL Kickoff Driven by Hyundai, a daylong festival in Philadelphia on Sept. 6. At the event, Hyundai will host autograph sessions for NFL players and photo opps and will give away prizes. The brand's Santa Fe, Kona, Tucson and Veloster Turbo models will also be on display.
"Cover 2" further extends Hyundai's work with the NFL beyond live game broadcasts on TV and might help the automaker drive more traffic to its website, where it also offers details on its latest models and directs users to nearby dealerships for purchases. More fans are already choosing to access sports-related content online over watching live games, which has helped lead to declines in linear viewership of NFL games.
Football fans also love a good rivalry and might appreciate a look at the history behind their favorite team and its main competitor. More marketers are investing in series, short films and other branded original digital video (ODV) as a means of producing marketing content that's engaging and tells a story beyond the product. Courtyard Marriott, for example, debuted a similar NFL docu-series in June that follows individuals pursing their football passions and gives fans a glimpse into the daily lives of people who make the game possible. The effort is supported on both the hotel chain's website and Facebook Watch.
ODV has a growing viewership and is projected to reach 86 million Americans age 13 and older this year, according to recent Interactive Advertising Bureau research. ODV audiences tend to skew younger, more diverse and tech-savvy, which might've attracted Hyundai to the format.
Automakers have been battling for the attention of millennial and Gen Z consumers — segments that are buying fewer cars than older generations. An Engagement Labs study released this week revealed a significant drop inconversations about auto brands among Gen Zers, who frequently prefer ride-sharing services and "walkable" local restaurants and shops.