After years together, Sprint and the NFL have split up? Where did it all go wrong? They seemed like such a happy couple. Now the NFL has gone off with someone new (Verizon, in this case), and Sprint is left all alone.
What’s the deal here?
The National Football League is in an interesting position when it comes to advertising. It’s probably the biggest sporting asset in America, and sport is one of the few non-fragmented forms of entertainment. At a time when the entertainment industry is splintering apart thanks to the user-chooses nature of the Internet, sport remains strong – because the audience likes to watch it live. It’s one of the few times when you can be guaranteed everyone is watching at the same time.
And so the licenses that the NFL awards are worth truly obscene amounts of money. The TV rights to NFL are the most expensive rights of ANY American entertainment property. SuperBowl ads are legendarily expensive, and have become a staple in their own right. And, up until very recently, Sprint paid the NFL around 100 million a year for the rights to do its mobile advertising.
But now that’s all changed.
The NFL has dropped Sprint in favour of Verizon. Reasons given include a better match of philosophy, a better audience reach and Verizons marketing commitment…. but GoMo News thinks the deciding factor was the the 750 million a year that Verizon is reported to have offered them.
And that’s a four-year contract they’ve agreed to.
What we think?
Why so expensive? Well, probably because is one of the only things that actually has a proven track record on mobile. The NFL has a history of imaginative mobile advertising, as do other brands when it comes to sport, including soccer.
At the moment, mobile advertising is playing the numbers game – a critical mass of people has to be attracted to mobile as a medium first, then they can be monetised. So the chance to make use of the vast NFL audience is something Verizon obviously felt it could no longer pass up.