It’s Thursday, September 4 at 8PM eastern. You turn on the TV and you hear that sweet, sweet melody that has been dark for over seven months. Football season is finally upon us and you can already smell the buffalo wings.
As you watch though, something is different. You expected the “big awe,” but there seems to be more energy, more glitz, more. . . money? The NFL is sparing no expense in its first few days of the season and neither are marketers so it seems. Ariana Grande singing the national anthem, a custom Bose spot featuring the star players from the teams playing in the intro game, and Lincoln “leaking” their newest TV campaign featuring Mathew McConaughey.
With all this star power it feels like the Super Bowl, but didn’t the season just begin? The paint is still wet on the field, but maybe there is something to this. A :30 Super Bowl spot during the 2014 game was on average $4M which reached about 111.3 million viewers. Although still high, costs to air a commercial during an opening game are a fraction of the cost. Lincoln, for instance, is hedging their bets on getting 300 million impressions over the course of opening weekend between a mix of NFL and prime collegiate games. There is something to be said about this strategy that focuses on longevity and reach versus one massive atomic bomb.
It will be interesting to see how marketers roll out their strategies during the course of the season. Whatever it might be, the main takeaway should be to focus on organic affiliation – curate or enhance the game day experience, do not impede.
How do you think brands should approach their NFL strategy?