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Tackling the Power of NFL Season Advertising

NFL advertising is a great way to reach massive audiences with broadcast TV, from opening kickoff all the way to Super Bowl Sunday. Learn more.

Meredith Cunningham Published: January 17, 2024
Tackling the Power of NFL Season Advertising image

Is your brand taking advantage of NFL advertising opportunities? If not, it’s time to start. Let’s dive into all things NFL advertising and how your brand can align itself with the game and reach an engaged audience. 

An Overview of NFL Advertising 

Originally called the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the National Football League (NFL) was founded in 1920 with 13 Original Towns and 14 charter teams. Over 100 years later, the NFL now includes 32 teams nationwide. For advertisers, the NFL presents an incredible opportunity to reach massive audiences from the opening kickoff all the way to Super Bowl Sunday.

As broadcast viewership continues to reign supreme for Gridiron eyeballs, aligning your brand with your local TV news station can help put your best foot forward to gain new customers. In other words, football content on broadcast TV is a must-buy.

Not only will your local news station highlight the thrill of the NFL season, but it also exposes your brand to engaged audiences with spending power. Let’s look at the stat sheet.

The Why Behind NFL Advertising

Simply put, the NFL drives audience and engagement – its viewership dominates the list of top programs watched yearly. 

A Trusting Audience 

According to Nielsen’s global sports marketing report, consumers who watch and attend these games strongly trust sponsorships associated with sports. The report also notes that once fan bases are exposed to these sponsorships, they’re more likely to make a purchase from that advertiser. It’s a powerful 1, 2, 3 punch and presents a great opportunity to drive brand awareness and spending in your market.

Live Viewership

According to Statista, “sports programming continues to be one of the most-watched genres on traditional television in the US.”  In 2023, regular season NFL games reached an average of approximately 17.9 million viewers. With the popularity of DVR and streaming previously aired television, NFL advertising presents a unique opportunity for brands looking to reach live viewers.

Live Sports Deliver Big Broadcast Audiences

In case you need any more convincing, rest assured the NFL is the biggest and best opportunity to reach exceptional audiences. Viewership is up across the NFL’s three biggest broadcast partners, including CBS and FOX, with year-over-year increases in regular-season viewership.

Sunday Night Football on NBC was again the #1 prime-time show in 2022, and excitement is building in 2023 as ABC will exclusively host five Monday Night Football games, the most regular season games they have aired since 2005.

Amazon Prime joined the NFL’s roster of distribution partners in 2022, a move that further fragmented the sports media landscape and delivered lower-than-expected viewership. Yet through the jungle of sports networks and content providers, fans continued to trust broadcast as the medium of choice to watch NFL games. In fact, nine out of 10 pro-football viewers exclusively watched games on broadcast TV. Even 75% of Gen Z adults, those 18 to 24, tuned in to broadcast for their weekly football fix.

Super Bowl LVII

Before we know it, the regular season comes to a close, the playoffs have passed, and we’re left looking forward to the lights, the energy, and the prestige of the Super Bowl. For the first time, Las Vegas will play host to this monumental matchup on February 11th, 2024. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Sin City during the Super Bowl will be an event like no other, and millions of football fans will experience the spectacle exclusively on CBS.

Rewinding to February 2023, Super Bowl LVII took the crown as the most watched Super Bowl, and more so, television program of all time. More than 115 million viewers tuned in to watch an instant classic as the Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles.

The action on the field is not the only reason people are tuning into the NFL’s season finale. The Super Bowl is one of the last bastions of live, engaged audiences and the perfect opportunity to capture waning attention spans. In fact, many Super Bowl viewers in the US said commercials were their favorite part of the game. For local TV stations, it creates a unique opportunity to provide advertisers with an exclusive space to entertain, resonate, and form emotional connections with viewers.

Ways to Advertise Alongside NFL Content

There are many ways to take the field alongside NFL content, so let’s dive into the playbook.

TV Commercials

Many advertisers might simply just be looking for spots and dots and not a lot of flare. There are very simple and clean ways to tell your brand story with seamless commercial activation. By partnering with your local news station and this engaged NFL audience, an effective commercial schedule can strongly drive home the sentiments that your brand is ready to take things to the next level.

Content Sponsorships

Content sponsorships provide a powerful avenue for aligning your brand to NFL content. The perfect complement to a multi-game or season-long commercial schedule, these sports sponsorships allow brands the unique opportunity to engage with fans and further solidify their association with NFL content. Advertisers with more efficient budgets can provide a compelling approach to reach engaged sports fans without incurring the heavy costs often associated with an in-game commercial schedule.

Partner With TEGNA Advertising This NFL Season

As you can see, broadcast NFL games contain a huge audience and engagement opportunities. How can Team TEGNA help advertisers tap into those fans? As one of the US’s largest and most geographically diverse broadcasters, we have significant station overlap in NFL markets, covering half of the league’s 32 teams right from their hometown. Coupled with our substantial roster of top 25 stations and local expertise, partnering with TEGNA is a winning game plan.

TEGNA and your local news station can take your brand to the next level with seamless, high-impact commercial activation and integrated sponsorships that meet NFL fans where they are.  So don’t wait on the sidelines! Join us in the ultimate game-changing experience that captivates millions of viewers and maximizes your reach.

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