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Brand Strategy: NFL Sponsorships Weaken


Brand Strategy: NFL Sponsorships Weaken

The affects of a turbulent world and economy are being reflected in the NFL with several major sponsors discontinuing their partnerships ahead of the league’s sales campaign.

Pepsi has renounced its rights to the Superbowl half time show in a decision that will dramatically change the appearance of the iconic performance.

Pepsi, along with Frito-Lay and Gatorade, will continue their sponsorships with the NFL however fans can expect to see the halftime show leaning towards a technical and content sponsorship aesthetic.

However, many of the NFL’s high-stake sponsors are struggling from the economic and social impacts of the past few years.

Ford will no longer hold the NFL’s truck rights as the league repackages auto and truck deals into a comprehensive motor vehicle sponsorship priced at USD$50 million (AUD $68.2 million).

Ford has held the NFL’s truck rights since 2016 but supply chain issues and chip shortages have left the company deciding the sponsorship’s benefits does not outweigh its costs.

Auto partnerships would usually bear the brunt of the NFL’s ad rates however the past few years have seen auto manufacturers less willing to contribute value to the NFL’s IP rights.

In 2015 Hyundai signed with the NFL following the league’s 14-year partnership with GM, however in 2019 the motor company dropped the partnership to refocus its assets.

Not long after this announcement Hyundai also ended its 15-year partnership with the FFA.

NFL fans can also expect to see a logo change on the league’s coaches with Bose reducing its partnership with the NFL.

The announcement comes alongside 100 store closures and a CEO change over but will involve Bose continuing its partnership with the NFL at a reduced capacity.

After consideration, Courtyard by Marriot will likely keep its NFL deal.

The hotel chain became the NFL’s official hotel in 2011 and hosts the NFL #CourtyardSuperBowlContest to give fans the opportunity to win a Marriot overnight stay.

Pizza Hut was also considering ending its partnership with the NFL however further news is yet to be announced.

The NFL is considering Verizon or Amazon as the Superbowl’s new halftime sponsor in a sponsorship deal valued around USD$40-50 million (AUD$54.65 -68.3 million).

Amazon currently owns the exclusive streaming rights to the NFL’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ in a deal valued above USD$1 billion (AUD$1.37 billion) per year.

In 2021 Amazon reported a net income of USD33.6 billion (AUD $45.89 billion) allowing the company to comfortably afford sponsorship deals.

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