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The NFL & branding – how the economics of the NFL influences consumer behavior

The economics of the NFL has a penetrating influence on consumer behavior. One example of this is brought to football fans via the endorsement deals of the league’s star players. The video below is a perfect example. It displays Eli and Peyton Manning in a commercial for DIRECTV, which questions whether or not a phone is ‘for calling’ or ‘for footballing’. That way, it is a fine way for DIRECTV to activate its commercial partnership with the NFL and to ‘search for the world’s most powerful NFL fan’. It serves as fine brand alignment in relation to what DIRECTV has to offer, i.e. in its campaign, the company emphasizes access to every game, every Sunday, every hit, and every catch.

NFL DIRECTV web site

Photo: DIRECTV’s web site activates its association with the NFL (source: DIRECTV)

Not only, does the commercial video mirror ‘how technology has evolved over time’, it also portrays how technology interacts with various important elements of culture, e.g. with sport’s position in popular culture. Technology and media development have increased the strengths of sports sponsorship and sports branding due to the massive appeal of sport and its ever-pervading nature. Simply, sport and viral marketing is a perfect match in terms of underlining the emotional connection, which sport builds between people.

Back in 1987, J. Goldlust wrote that “top-level sport has, in recent decades, become a significant component of the international entertainment industry. Television has increasingly colonized modern sporting cultures and, by offering economic enticements, has successfully underminded the communal bases of control over sporting institutions.”  This was in 1987! Just consider what has happened since so there is no doubt that sports sponsorship has come to stay and will continue to break barriers in the years to come. Sport management researcher James Santomier (2008) wrote that “one of the dominant strategies currently used to address increased complexity in competitive business environments is to adopt technology at all levels of the enterprise. New media is a dimension of technology that is being adopted almost universally by sport enterprises worldwide.”, and his research reveals that sport enterprises are already taking advantage of the most recent development as several of these organizations have become fully aware of the commercial potential tied to such development.


DIRECTV web site, click here.

Goldlust, J. (1987). Playing for keeps. Sport, the media and society. Longman Cheshire Pty. Ltd..

Santomier, J. P., & Shuart, J. A. (2008). Sport new media. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 4(1), 85-101.

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