America’s National Football League (NFL) thrives on marketing. The NFL ranks high as one of the most successful global sports institutions. The secret behind this is tied to its consistent application of different marketing strategies.
The NFL and its teams on Sunday night football tonight and other days provide great fun and entertainment. But without the NFL’s marketing vehicle, millions of NFL fans worldwide will only be able to scratch the surface of the NFL’s entertainment potential.
The NFL business and marketing structures are among the strongest in American sports. As NFL fans highly anticipate new seasons, business owners and marketers are equally highly expectant of all a new season has to offer.
Have you wondered why the NFL consistently remains present in the news, and remains a subject of interest even when its activities are at the lowest level? Have you wondered why it is impossible for NFL fans to lose interest in their teams? Have you wondered why NFL fans do not miss out on any action during the off season?
Cracking the NFL’s Marketing Code
The answer to the above questions lies in the NFL’s successful marketing model and strategies. Since the NFL cracked marketing as a code, it has never relented. That is why the NFL is quick to adopt any emerging marketing trends.
Businesses who have worked with the NFL know the tremendous impact that its marketing strengths deliver. That is why they are always eager to collaborate with the NFL on marketing campaigns.
The NFL has engineered its marketing structure to near perfection.
How Did the NFL Unearth Its Marketing Potentials?
The NFL’s marketing structure serves as a vehicle that powers the NFL through every calendar year. But there was a time when the NFL didn’t realize it was suffering because it lacked a strong marketing structure.
These days, almost every business wants to tap into the NFL’s marketing structure with its different tailored campaigns. For many of these businesses, working with the NFL is a great way to gain the attention of the NFL’s large target market. Question is - how exactly did the NFL use marketing to become America’s most profitable sports industry?
Initially, the NFL thrived as a promoter of one of America’s traditional sports. At that time, nobody rarely noticed the NFL’s absence during off-seasons. There was nothing to sustain its presence beyond its actual annual league that lasted for about 15-20 weeks at a maximum.
A new NFL season usually appeared disjointed from the previously concluded one. The NFL could not bank on any successful aspect of the league from the previous season. Football itself was hardly a major subject of discussion. And the introduction of the drafts and playoffs didn’t change much.
The NFL soon realized that its assumption that people’s love for American football will make the annual league a success was not sustainable. They had to find a way to keep the league in the minds of people at all times.
Football Marketing to the Rescue
The NFL began to make concerted efforts to turn around its fortunes. The first proactive step pursued was defining a schedule that would not clash with other major sports in America. Defining a schedule shot up the attention for the NFL, but other major sports were gradually encroaching the NFL’s calendar.
The NFL only had a 15-16 game week season thus, it could not compete with other sports whose annual leagues ran for a more extended period.
So, it became important for the NFL to expand its season beyond 16 weeks. Under the leadership of Pete Rozelle, the NFL’s fortunes witnessed massive transformation. More teams were added to the NFL playoffs and the success witnessed with the first expansion of the NFL led to even more expansions in the league’s structure. Eventually, it also set the NFL’s marketing structure in motion.
Combining marketing with football was a pioneering idea by the NFL. This idea has now gone beyond American football as it is being replicated in several sports organizations around the world. Marketing changed the fortunes of the NFL and for many decades, it has yielded handsome dividends for American football.