The National Football League has become the dominant sport in the U.S. This league also generates huge TV ratings and a growing fan base. The NFL is a great case study in how a business can rapidly grow its brand.
Record-setting TV ratings
The NFL consistently dominates TV ratings. Nielsen is customer research and marketing firm. The company has been compiling TV ratings for many years.
The Washington Post reports that 112 million people in the US watched the 2014 Super Bowl, based on Nielsen ratings. That same year, an NFL’s Wildcard playoff game drew 27 million viewers. That was more US viewers than soccer’s World Cup men’s final. The total was also more than any NBA Final game or World Series game that year. No other TV event draws larger audiences than NFL games.
In addition to TV ratings, the NFL maintains tremendous brand awareness. Infegy complied a 2015 study of the world’s most popular brands. The ratings are based on a social media platform that measures the number of posts about a brand.
The NFL ranked as the #12 brand in the world. In terms of demographics, 82% of the posts were males. Infegy found that 58% of posts viewed the NFL favorably.
The NFL’s TV ratings and brand awareness make it a powerful vehicle for advertising. In 2013, 202 million Americans watched at least one NFL game- and huge percentage of the total population.
Advertisers use the NFL to attract the 18 to 34-year-old male demographic. This group is normally difficult to reach using other media. Several large corporations, such as Verizon and Nike, have expensive contracts to advertise on NFL broadcasts.
Multiple choices for fans
One reason that the NFL continues to grow is the variety of choices provided to fans. In addition to traditional TV contracts, the league now offers NFL Sunday ticket options. DIRECTV partners with the NFL to offer this programming. Fans can watch any game they choose. This feature allows someone to follow their home team, even if they no longer live in that area of the country. The Game Mix Channel allows a viewer to watch up to 8 live games on one screen.
The impact of fantasy football
In the last two decades, fantasy football has become a new vehicle for people to watch NFL games. Fans pick players from any team in the league. Those players earn points for touchdowns scored, passing and rushing yardage and other statistics.
Fantasy football motivates fans to keep track of any game in which their fantasy player in involved. This hobby also keeps fans interested in games that may have a one-sided score.
NFL Sunday Ticket offers the Red Zone Channel to meet the needs of fantasy football. This channel lets a viewer watch every play inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The fans playing fantasy football can watch to see if their player scores a touchdown in a particular game.
The NFL continues to innovate to meet the demands of their fan base. The popularity of their brand is a great example for any business owner.