The NFL Expands Massive Audiences: But What Are They Shopping For?

By Henley Worthen · January 19, 2022

The NFL Expands Massive Audiences: But What Are They Shopping For?

Crack open the blue cheese and deep fried buffalo cauliflower wings, NFL playoffs are in full swing – and we’re here to get the social video scoop. Pass the Tostitos. 

This year’s additional week of NFL games meant an additional week for franchisees to engage with fans. Admittedly, the field narrows as winning teams advance and others fall through the cracks, but looking at the top teams shows that even losing teams scored big on social video. 

On Facebook, these were the top teams by views over through the regular season: 

  1. Atlanta Falcons | 166.0 million views | 288 uploads
  2. Baltimore Ravens | 126.0 million views | 347 uploads
  3. Dallas Cowboys | 57.5 million views | 610 uploads
  4. Green Bay Packers | 54.3 million views | 860 uploads
  5. Miami Dolphins | 52.2 million views | 284 uploads

Get this — out of the top 5 social video winners, only 2 made the NFL playoffs. Let’s find out how the teams made up for their losses! 

Atlanta Falcons: Homemakers Cheer on The Rudest Team 

The biggest draw for Falcons’ views was a fan video posted in March. Fried rice art of Julio Jones’s face regularly generated over 2 million views per day. Despite the fact that Jones was traded to Tennessee in June 2021, the unique video remained a favorite and a welcome break from game highlights. 

Aside from game highlights, Atlanta also celebrated the anniversary of “The Rudest Team”  from their 1991 season with a three-part docuseries on YouTube that attracted viewers commemorating the team’s history. 

When it comes to what Falcons fans are purchasing online, one might be surprised to find that Pantry Supplies, Kitchen Accessories, and Household Items are all within their top ten Amazon purchase categories. Sounds like these football fans have been hosting watch parties in their homes. We found that this year’s Publix partnership with the Falcons was right on par with the team’s viewership! 

While not in their top 10 consumer categories, 20.16% of the Falcons audience shops online for consumer electronics. Microsoft made a great decision to sponsor with their Microsoft Tablet. 

Baltimore Ravens: Athletic Consumers and Their Favorite Players

Microsoft Tablet was also their #1 sponsor, but only 4.79% of the Ravens’ audience shops for laptops online. What else are they scrolling for, you ask? Eight of their top 10 purchase categories revolved around sports, activewear, and video games which is one reason why EA Sports Madden FL was a great partnership decision for the team

Baltimore’s top videos revolved around a couple of Ravens players. Kicker Justin Tucker was featured in six of the top 25 Facebook videos, mainly for his record 61-yard field goal vs. the Lions. But quarterback Lamar Jackson also appeared in six of the top 25, particularly for his jersey retirement ceremony at his alma mater, Louisville.

In large part, current moments drove the interest for Ravens fans to tune in, using positive emotions to connect fans to both past and present success.

Miami Dolphins: Short-Form Content for Their Techy Audience

Miami’s approach to connecting with fans was geared toward player reactions. Nine of the Dolphins’ 15 most-watched Facebook videos revolved around “mic’d up” moments of team members.

The Dolphins also dedicated resources to game-specific highlights both in advance of games and in the immediate aftermath. Most popular among those was this “Elevator Content” clip in advance of Miami’s game against the Giants. Notably, 83% of the Dolphins’ video uploads this season were less than a minute long, as the content strategy leaned into shorter content to quickly grab fans’ attention.

As for Dolphins fans, three of the top 10 purchase categories revolve around home security and personal safety. 8.23% of their audience shops for computers and tablets on Amazon, while 6.85 shops for computer accessories. 8.23% of their November 2021 audience of 11.4M means that over 939k Dolphins viewers were shopping online in this category. 

Interestingly, Microsoft Tablet wasn’t a partner for this NFL team whose audience has a higher purchase affinity for electronics than the teams mentioned above. Utilizing tools like Consumer Insights from Tubular helps refine advertising strategies and gives marketers the ability to more accurately project campaign ROI.

Insights to Actions: 

  • Tap into Nostalgia by memorializing past seasons and celebrating a team’s cultural evolution. This allows advertisers to leverage star power in their campaigns to grab attention from loyal audiences of all ages. 
  • Break the Fourth Wall and allow audiences to get closer to your athletes or on-screen celebrities. Audiences are craving less intrusive ad experiences while streaming. Using key players from content can help integrate ads with entertainment.
  • Don’t Stop at Content Data when it comes to refining your strategy. Using Audience Demographics & Content Intelligence to empower decisions is necessary. What’s even more important to marketers is that audiences are highly likely to purchase their products. Using Consumer Insights helps the sell-side benchmark the value of their audience and helps the buy-side target the best-suited broadcasters for their products. 

If your company is interested in learning about Tubular can help you refine your content strategy, contact us here.

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