NFL Sponsor ships
While it’s difficult to put an exact value on the NFL as a whole, it’s estimated to be worth around USD 100 billion in total. It is one of the world’s richest and most profitable companies, relying on a variety of revenue streams to ensure its long-term success.
Massive television contracts, merchandise sales, licensing deals, and ticket sales are some of the ways they make money.
Another, and perhaps the most important, revenue stream is the insane amount of money they make from sponsorships. The National Football League (NFL) is entering a new era, but it appears to be eerily similar to the previous one.
The 2022 season will mark the first departure from the league’s new domestic broadcast deals, which have seen virtually every package remain with the same network. The only difference, for now, is that Thursday night games will be exclusively on Amazon, with no more coverage on traditional TV after Prime Video increased its commitment and acquired exclusive rights. The league’s agreements with its other media rights partners are set to take effect the following season.
Rather than bombarding its devoted fan base with a slew of changes at once, the NFL has introduced them gradually. In recent years, the number of regular season games has increased to 17, there have been postseason expansion, playoff games on ESPN, the creep of streaming, experimental broadcasts, and even the introduction of league-sanctioned betting. This is a new era that has largely been introduced covertly.
NFL+ is the latest new toy, in addition to the increased revenues it will eventually receive from the new broadcast deals. The NFL app’s new direct-to-consumer (DTC) service replaces the league’s former mobile live game rights partners in the US and only replaces the league’s former mobile live game rights partners in the US but also the Game Pass over-the-top (OTT) platform. It’s a classic NFL move under Roger Goodell, measured to the point of caution.
It is up to others to predict what will happen on the field, but if there is one prediction to be made about the NFL this season, it is that we are at a crossroads in terms of embracing streaming. Aside from Amazon’s exclusive Thursday night games and the launch of NFL+, the decision to award Sunday Ticket is expected soon. Apple, Google, and ESPN, as well as Amazon, have all been linked to the digitalization of the out-of-market package. According to Goodell, the successor to DirecTV will be announced in the autumn.
Growth in the value of the NFL rights deals (USD Billion per year)
What else is new this year? Several key partners, including Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch InBev, have scaled back their Super Bowl sponsorships, leaving the NFL with significant inventory to sell ahead of its showpiece next February. The decision by Pepsi to discontinue its halftime show sponsorship, in particular, will result in a very different look for whichever brand succeeds the soft drinks behemoth.
With the pandemic firmly in the rear-view mirror, the NFL is once again considering international expansion. The first regular season game will be played in Germany this season, with former World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper appointed to oversee an expanded European operation. The league also returns to Mexico City as part of a five-game International Series that includes three games at two London stadiums.
For the first time, teams have been granted permission to market themselves internationally. During the off-season, the International Home Marketing Areas (IHMA) program has been in full swing, with franchises signing their first deals in newly acquired territory. Unsurprisingly, the focus has been on the United Kingdom, Germany, and Mexico, but new team partnerships have been formed as far away as China and New Zealand. America’s game has returned, but it has spread the star-spangled banner further than ever before.
Biggest NFL Sponsorships in NFL History
The following are the five largest NFL sponsorship deals of all time. The monetary value is based on the estimated annual value of the sponsorship at the end of the 2021 season.
Nike is one of the most well-known brands among sports-related businesses. Many large sporting leagues use their equipment and shoes, and they own a large portion of the contracts for team uniforms. Nike pays approximately USD 120 million per season to be the official uniform producer. What they really pay for is the ability to put their iconic swoosh checkmark logo on the uniform.
Since its inception, the NFL has been opposed to the concept of gambling on games. Prior to the 2021 season, they changed their stance, at least from a business standpoint. DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars entered into a joint agreement to be the three official sports betting sponsors. Over the next five years, their combined sponsorship is worth just under USD 1 billion. Other gambling sites, such as BetMGM and PointsBet, have since signed agreements.
For nearly 40 years, Pepsi has been one of the NFL’s most important sponsors, serving as their official snack and beverage provider. All concession stands in the country’s 32 stadiums are required to use Pepsi for their various inventory needs. They sell a variety of products such as Aquafina, 7UP, Lay’s, Fritos, Tropicana, Brisk, Tostitos, Mountain Dew, and Doritos. Pepsi’s most recent agreement was worth USD 2 billion over ten years of service. They recently renewed their contract through the 2022 offseason, but they surprisingly chose not to sponsor the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The league is now seeking a fee of around USD 50 million per season to sponsor the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Anheuser-Busch is the world’s largest brewer, producing many popular beer brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois, Becks, Corona, and Corona Light. They are the official servicer for all stadium beer supplies, for which they pay USD 230 million per year. Another significant benefit for Anheuser-Busch is the licencing of all 32 team logos for use on beer cans. Bud Light is the “Official Beer of the NFL,” and they frequently brand their cans with team logos during football season.
Verizon owns the title of “The Official Mobile Provider of the NFL,” for which they pay a whopping USD 300 million per season. They recently struck a new agreement to remain the official sponsors for the next ten years and more than a billion dollars. Verizon has the exclusive license to provide WiFi and 5G services in all 32 stadiums. As their official partner, they also have the most exclusive game coverage options when it comes to mobile services and cable TV packages.
New Developments on NFL Sponsorship
Amazon has signed NFL Thursday Night Football sponsor DraftKings.
Amazon Prime Video has signed sports betting company DraftKings as a sponsor for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football (TNF), enhancing the viewer experience ahead of the first regular-season game in 2022-23. TNF has debuted Prime Video, which pits the Los Angeles Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs. DraftKings will be Amazon’s exclusive provider of pregame and in-game odds for TNF games.
The “TNF Predictions” segment for the “TNF Tonight” pregame show will be hosted by DraftKings, allowing viewers to wager on featured same-game parlay bets via the DraftKings app. Prime Video isn’t the only platform that wants to use sports betting to increase viewer engagement. Despite recently placing its sports wagering business under strategic review, FuboTV has stated that it intends to integrate betting within the FuboTV app – possibly with a third-party partner.
Amazon taps Nielsen for NFL Thursday Night Football ratings
Amazon also announced today that pizza chain Little Caesars will serve as the presenting sponsor for “TNF Tonight.” According to Amazon, by placing pizza orders via an on-screen QR code, viewers will be eligible to win “big ticket prizes.” Other TNF sponsors include Carnival Cruise Line, Audible, and Mercedes-Benz USA. Each of these companies will be presenting sponsors for TNF’s upcoming programming lineup.
Ad Costs Remain Highest During NFL Programming
According to Parker Herren of AD AGE, the price for 30 seconds of commercial time on NFL programming “remains the strongest on broadcast TV.” NBC’s “SNF” has once again “taken the top spot” in primetime programming, with an average price of USD 828,501 per 30 seconds, a 2% increase over last year. ”Fox’s Sunday NFL doubleheader, which “does not air during prime time,” cost an average of USD 879,172 per 30 seconds. “TNF” by Amazon is the “first time a streamer has appeared on Ad Age’s annual ranking,” ranking second in primetime and averaging USD 579,391 in commercial time. ” The price is 9% lower than when it aired on Fox last year. “Football-related programming: Fox’s Saturday college football slate rocketed 43% to USD 106,320” and NBC’s “FNIA” pregame show rose 27% to USD 106,826 this season.
The chart below shows the costs of 30-second advertisements for various major sports programs.
2022 PRICE (USD)
2021 PRICE (USD)
“Football Night in America”
Saturday College Football
“WWE Friday Night Smackdown”
*Represent top three slots in Ad Age’s overall rankings