Blog Post

4 Omnichannel Advertising Trends Set to Dominate the 2023 NFL Season

08/30/2023 - The Digilant Team

The 2023/24 NFL season kicks off Thursday, September 7th with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions. After the 2022/23 season saw an average 16.7 million viewers per game, advertisers are wise to use in-game TV ads to reach fans. But, if big-budget TV ads are out of reach for your brand, fear not. 

Today’s fans are omnichannel viewers. They’ll scroll through social media while watching games, subscribe to players’ podcasts, and browse in-game analysis or post-game highlights on their phones. All these actions provide ample opportunities for brands to create relevant and memorable interactions.

With all these new channels, it may feel overwhelming to decide where to begin. Ahead of the 2023/24 NFL season, we’re helping advertisers create a winning strategy by looking back at key trends and media habits in the 2022/23 season. This gives advertisers insight into where they can reach their audience in the coming months as they tune into football games or NFL-related content.


The Impact of the Hollywood Strike on TV

Before we jump into key trends, it’s important to note that this NFL season will launch at a unique time in television history. As the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA remain on strike, TV networks will eventually run out of new content to premiere. 

A gap in new content would seemingly lead to fewer consumers watching TV. However, experts are confident that consumers won’t stop watching. Rather, they’ll simply shift their viewing habits. Two genres unaffected by the strikes are reality TV and live sports. These genres are poised for significant viewership in the coming months—just in time for the NFL season.


Key Trends from Last Season and Their Impact on the 2023/24 NFL Season


Amazon Prime Video Coverage of Thursday Night Football

To keep up with more people streaming TV than watching cable or broadcast television, major broadcasters offer game coverage via their respective streaming platforms like NBC using Peacock, for example. In fact, Amazon was the first to test a streaming-exclusive broadcast. 

Last season, Amazon made an inaugural run covering Thursday night NFL games on its Prime Video streaming service. While it fell short of traditional broadcast viewership, their regular season coverage still delivered an impressive 9.58 million average viewers per game.

Going into this year’s season, Amazon made a “litany of updates to its ad services,” to entice advertisers. Most notably, advertisers can now “run audience-based creative…using Amazon insights to serve different creative to different users all in the same ad break,” according to Amazon Ads VP/Global Sales Alan Moss. Additionally, to give brands the same reach they’ve come to expect with linear TV, advertisers are “promised the potential to extend ad buys within Amazon to make good on any rating shortfalls.”


The Power of the Second Screen

In 2022, 49% of viewers used two or more screens while watching football. Sixty-nine percent of viewers used a second screen — typically a mobile device or laptop — to find more information about a product or service after seeing an ad. 

Brands have a great opportunity to align their ads with NFL-related content using contextually placed display, video, or social media ad units. With NFL-specific ad buys, your message appears within contextually-relevant publishers alongside content such as: 

  • Betting/odds predictions
  • Opinion & expert analysis
  • Key storylines throughout the season

Because consumers are viewing these ads on mobile or laptop devices, advertisers can utilize ad creative that drives them further down the funnel. Incorporating action-related content encourages consumers to click to learn more, driving them to your website.


Audience Reach Goes Beyond the Field as NFL Podcasts Grow 

Since 2021, just under 900,000 new podcasts have launched. Nearly half of U.S. consumers (42%) are monthly podcast listeners, while more than a quarter (26%) listen weekly. 

Every industry has seen an influx in podcast content as the value of this media form has become increasingly obvious. Sports — specifically the NFL — are no different. In 2021, the NFL teamed up with iHeartMedia to launch the NFL Podcast Network. This partnership included “the distribution of NFL Media’s existing podcasts, as well as the co-production and distribution of two dozen new original podcasts… focusing on NFL history, inside access, and more.”

Additionally, networks across the industry — Barstool Sports, Wave Sports + Entertainment, and LockedOn — continuously add new content to the mix as players, teams, coaches, and analysts throw their hats into the podcasting ring, growing their audience, reach, and influence all while monetizing their content.

As advertisers look to the upcoming season, podcasting provides a great outlet to reach fans beyond Thursday, Sunday, and Monday game schedules. With a host of targeting options — show, content, genre, publishers —advertisers can reach their specific audiences as they tune into NFL content throughout their week. 


Stay Flexible and Tuned in to Trending Moments

As the NFL season approaches, one of the best tools advertisers can incorporate is to stay flexible and ready for whatever may come their way. Think back to the 2013 Super Bowl. No one could have predicted a stadium-wide blackout during the halftime show. But, Oreo’s fast thinking “you can still dunk in the dark ” post garnered them 525 million earned media impressions

Having a solid strategy in place at the start of the season — incorporating some of the channels and strategies above — ensures flexibility to jump in on trending conversations and critical moments in the season. 


Digilant’s Solutions to Reach NFL Fans

It’s never too late to add football and NFL-related ad buys into your media strategy. Digilant has custom, data-driven NFL and Football omnichannel packages at the ready to help you score big with fans this season. Contact us today to get started.

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