The NFL just announced that Twitter will live-stream 10 games for the 2016 season, leaving no doubt about the marketing intentions the league has for the expansion of its brand and make a strong push beyond television broadcasting.
The news doesn’t come as a surprise. The National Football League has live-streamed games the past season and gave Yahoo the rights to do it, as it tested the potential of using another media outlet other than TV and radio. The most marketable professional league in America has recognized the change in viewership and is going where the younger demographic is: social media.
Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter bid for the rights to stream 10 games of the NFL’s Thursday Night’s game portfolio. Facebook withdrew from the bidding process in the latter stages. By endorsing Twitter as a viable marketing outlet for the league, the eyes of every social media marketing strategist will be focused on how the partnership will grow.
As many consumers move away from cable and satellite services, this decision by the NFL, demonstrates the shifting strategy in reaching a younger audience. This group is known to stream content rather than watch TV. Media marketing research has shown that using social media outlets is a more effective way to get their attention. And the NFL wants to be part of their conversation.
The NFL’s Thursday Night presentation is a prime-time showcase of their product and the league wants to cast a wider net into the marketing pool. Expanding to a second screen, be it a smart phone, tablet or laptop, the NFL is making its brand resonate with this mobile audience. Keeping its name bold and important.