The NFL is widely renowned for having world class athletes with exciting and captivating abilities. Throughout the year, there are companies who see great opportunities to associate a player with their brand. These companies will find a popular NFL star and build a marketing campaign around them. For example, Direct TV ran an extremely popular marketing campaign with Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and his quarterback brother Eli Manning. The campaign began in 2013 when Direct TV had the brothers perform in a rap video about watching football on your phone using NFL Sunday Ticket, an offer from the company.
Football on your Phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn5zytfm9No
After substantial success, Direct TV got the Manning brothers back to promote another feature they have developed called the Fantasy Zone Channel. Direct TV is looking to extract more profits from football fans by associating its brand with the growing hobby that is fantasy football.
Fantasy Football Fantasy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMor6dL0LfI
Recently, domestic violence issues have invaded the NFL. Big name players are being suspended and having their lives investigated and exposed. Adrian Peterson who is the undisputed best player for the Minnesota Vikings is not being allowed to play because of allegations against him for child abuse. Ray Rice, the superstar running back for the Baltimore Ravens, has been indefinitely suspended for allegations about domestic violence. Greg Hardy, a top-5 defensive end in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers, has been placed on the NFL exempt list, meaning he can’t play, for domestic violence allegations. There have been other top-tier players charged with domestic violence as well such as Ray McDonald.
Bad publicity surrounded the NFL as the National Organization for Women, as well as many others, called for Commissioner Roger Goodell’s resignation. In the wake of these events, I expected NFL ratings and viewership to drop, in turn making marketing through the NFL less successful. It makes sense that they would, right? Wrong. The NFL is unstoppable. Its popularity has actually increased in terms of viewership.
So my advice to marketers, use the NFL because it is an insuppressible organization decorated with popular, yet occasionally felonious, athletes who can sell products. The NFL is a proven marketing juggernaut.
By the way, what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Isn’t that a cornerstone of our justice system? Some of these players haven’t been convicted of anything and are still not allowed to play.