NFL sponsorships always have been a big part of football with branded gear, promotions and fan-favorite Super Bowl commercials. With the 2018-19 NFL season in full swing, more and more beverage companies are making plays to get in on the action.
The NFL’s attendance was reportedly 3 percent lower in the 2017-18 season than it was in 2016 and the league’s media partners collectively saw an almost 20 percent ratings drop over the previous two seasons, according to an article written by David Broughton, citing the 12th annual Sponsor Loyalty study fielded by the SportsBusiness Journal by TurnKey Sports & Entertainment.
Although NFL attendance took a hit, NFL sponsorships did not, with most earning a higher recognition level than they did a year ago, several of them hitting a record high, Broughton says.
According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of fans recognized PepsiCo as the NFL’s official carbonated soft drink, which is 17 percent higher than Coke. This season, Pepsi announced its 360-degree campaign, the Pepsi Tailgate Tour, where the brand will make stops at several NFL stadiums to host free tailgate parties.
As most would think, beer brands also are a big part of the game. Anheuser-Busch scored an overall 60 percent on the sponsorship awareness survey, winning in a landslide over Coors (8 percent) and Miller (7 percent).
When the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII, fans took advantage of Bud Light’s widely popular slogan, “Dilly Dilly,” and turned it into “Philly Philly.” Bud Light also released a limited-edition commemorative “Philly Philly” pack in honor of the team’s Super Bowl win.
Sponsorships are at the core of the NFL, and brands that wish to have national recognition are getting themselves literally into the game.