Forbes – The National Football League reportedly has a ratings problem. Overall ratings during the 2016 NFL season were down 9%, while people tuning in for the 2017 NFL Playoffs dropped 6% from the previous year.
But despite a drop in ratings and a significant decrease in advertising spending by companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, sponsorship for the NFL has reached new heights. In fact, the league’s and its teams’ overall sponsorship revenue grew a whopping 4.3% in 2016 as compared to 2015, reaching a total revenue of $1.25 billion for the year.
The one major new partner secured by the NFL for the 2016 season was Ford Motor F -0.61% Co., which was the top NFL Playoffs advertiser by spend, per advertising sales intelligence platform MediaRadar. Ford Motor Co. was not even a top-5 advertising spender for the previous year’s NFL Playoffs.
The addition of Ford Motor Co. helped boost NFL sponsorship, driving the automobile sponsorship category to be the second largest in terms of spend. But the beer category continued to be a leader in driving enhanced revenues for the league, with Anheuser-Busch leading the category in spend at 5.5 times the amount paid by the average beer distributor. Additionally, insurance companies carried their weight by being the most active category with concern to number of deals even though the group was not at the top when it came to overall spend.
As far as individual teams are concerned, no NFL team scored more sponsorship revenue than the New England Patriots. Their Super Bowl 51 competitor, the Atlanta Falcons, came in below the NFL team average in terms of sponsorship dollars. The leaders along with the Patriots were the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.
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