The Home of Football

Dec 12, 2023
by Nicky Delasalle
The Home of Football

Football has consistently ranked the most popular sport in America, and NFL Sundays continue to present a mutually beneficial relationship for both TV networks and brands. With over 23 million viewers, NBC’s Sunday Night Football is the most-watched primetime TV show. The high cost of advertising is no surprise considering the considerable live audiences, difficult to find anywhere else. Since September 2023, advertisers have spent $1.5 billion on Sunday NFL Football TV programming.*1

In the absence of new scripted programming, the viewership of both the NFL and MLB World Series were the primary driver of the 9.4% increase in broadcast viewing, and 15% rise in sports viewing across Broadcast channels.*2

Who’s watching?

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the fanbase reflects the demographics of the United States population, with women and girls making up 46% of the NFL fanbase.*3  Certainly the presence of pop icon, Taylor Swift, encourages this trend and has provided increased interest from a new potential audience,  as well as incentives for marketers to advertise.

The rise in popularity of sports broadcasts has also led to a surge in the number of young viewers who are tuning in to watch, with viewership among young adults, 18-24 yrs old, up 15%.*2

This wide audience of consumers presents additional opportunities for advertisers, particularly those targeting women and younger cohorts. Many have already jumped on the bandwagon, including automotive advertisers who invested over $107 million during Taylor Swift’s attended Chief’s games. With tailored creative messaging, Nissan and Chevrolet targeted their advertisements to the growing female audience.

Seeking to reach a younger audience during NFL games, insurance companies – GEICO, Progressive, and State Farm –  spent $36 million on Chief’s games, while tech companies like Apple and T-Mobile spent over $41 million on in -game ads. *1

NFL live broadcasts provide an excellent opportunity for advertisers to reach out to a large audience and expand their consumer base. With the increasing integration of pop culture and sports, advertising during NFL Sundays will remain a highly sought-after commodity for leading advertisers looking to connect with their target audience. The partnership between America’s most popular sport and linear TV will continue to create opportunities for advertisers to grow their business in 2024 and beyond.

*1 Media Radar, November 2023

*2 Nielsen, Sports continues to fuel broadcast gains in October, November 2023

³SSRS Sports Poll, Associated Press, Analysis: NFL’s appeal to women isn’t about pink jerseys, November 2022

Nicky de la Salle is the Vice President of Growth at DirectAvenue. With more than 20 years of experience, including a decade at a “Big 6” global agency, in performance marketing and growth strategy, she is a proven senior leader with specializations in omni-channel marketing, eCommerce and digital marketing channels. Nicky has driven the performance marketing vision for Fortune 500, Entrepreneurs and Tech-Disrupters alike both in the US and internationally. 

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