- The NFL season has officially kicked off and marketers including MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Hyundai, Pepsi and Nationwide, all have NFL-themed campaigns in place.
- The league had a rough off season perception-wise with the Patriots' "deflategate" scandal, among other league-wide other issues, which have impacted the NFL’s consumer perception with research finding it down 58% from the beginning of the season last year.
- One group spending an outsized amount of money on football-themed advertising is the new fantasy draft website marketplace.
The National Football League might be going through a tough public-relations stretch (ranging from "deflategate" to player domestic violence allegations and renewed conversations around head injuries), which have provided for negative publicity – so much so that research from YouGov BrandIndex finding that consumer perception of the NFL was down 58% from one year ago. Even so, marketers have lined up to get in front of NFL’s huge TV audience with NFL-themed campaigns. Brands want to be part of the NFL, which remains extremely popular: research from market researcher Mintel finding that half of Americans are NFL fans.
Renie Anderson,senior VP-sponsorship for the NFL, told Ad Age, "We are in close contact with our partners. We speak to them daily, weekly. Fan interest continues to be at an all-time high. The partners know that the NFL is the best place to reach a broad audience that covers numerous demographics and a reach to really reach those specific goals they have."
Along with major brands pouring ad dollars into NFL broadcasts, networks airing NFL games and commentary are getting ad dollars from a new source – fantasy draft websites. As an example of how much those companies are spending on sports broadcasts overall, one fantasy draft website, DraftKings.com, spent $21.3 million between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9, spreading that around multiple networks, with ESPN on the receiving end of 45% of that week’s spending.