The NFL has always been a popular competition, not just in the US, but all over the world. In the last twenty years, however, that following has increased exponentially.
The rise of digital platforms has played the biggest role in increasing the NFL’s popularity, but what websites have the most influence, and how many new fans have been drawn in?
A Growing Fanbase
The biggest rise in NFL engagement can be traced back to 2007. This was the year that the organization began to play more games outside of the US. Official NFL matches were staged in Mexico, London, Paris and Munich, and this helped to swell a growing fanbase.
Social media also took off around this time. Early versions of Twitter and Facebook were in place and they started to build exponentially from this point. Many millions of new fans were drawn in, while the best performing updates on social media earned millions of views.
There was no stopping the NFL now, thanks to a host of new ways of engaging their followers.
It’s not just social media driving the interest in the NFL and its teams. In 2018, the US Supreme Court opened up the possibility for online sports betting across the country, and this has had many benefits to the league.
Not every state has embraced sports betting as yet, but the new legislation has led to billions of dollars of additional revenue. Residents of the regions that have taken up the option can now access a host of vegas nfl odds across the entire NFL season.
Many will stake impassively, but it’s inevitable that some bettors will start to form a bond with their favorite teams. As a result of this interest, they are likely to begin engaging directly with the NFL’s official website and their social media channels.
The Usual Suspects
Social media is a powerful tool for building engagement. Within that category, Twitter is often seen as the platform that provides a wider reach. The NFL has its own accounts which are chiefly responsible for driving their content marketing strategy.
In addition, each NFL franchise has their own official Twitter account and many have regional alternatives for fans based outside of the US.
Facebook and Instagram have their roles to play, but this is a very fluid part of the internet, with new platforms arriving on a regular basis. Tik Tok is the latest social media sensation and the NFL and its teams have been looking to exploit it since it came online in 2016. Tik Tok may face an uncertain future but, even if it is restricted in the United States, it’s likely that a new platform will come in to take its place.
While the NFL must lead the way in content marketing, the 32 franchise teams also help to promote the organization.
The NFL’s official website has been described as one of the best in sport. There will be some debate over that point, but it’s certainly a striking and informative portal. It’s a comprehensive site with news updates and other information relating to all of its 32 franchise teams.
Interactive video and competitions are just two ways in which the official NFL website boosts fan engagement.
The NFL also runs a highly successful fantasy sports portal. Its own fantasy football league is hugely popular and that has helped to attract many more millions of fans to the real sport.
The league has worked hard to ensure that fans are kept entertained, and that they can access the website and social media channels wherever they happen to be. Content is updated regularly and, even in those long off-season months, there is always something to read or watch.
The NFL site is also optimized for mobile, so there is no loss of experience for those tuning in while on the go. They’ve adopted a highly professional approach to digital content marketing and it’s been paying dividends for over a decade.
No matter how big the NFL may be, there is always room for additional growth. The league’s existing content marketing strategy has proved to be a success, but it’s certain that the organization will be looking for new ways to build their online presence.
Future social media platforms will be assessed and they will be added to the NFL’s growing list as soon as they hit the internet.
The NFL’s existing strategy is also highly focused on youth. By listing video games, a TikTok tailgate party, and harnessing icons such as Rihanna, the league knows that it can appeal to a young audience.
The youth are the future, but the NFL content marketing campaign is targeted at every fan. Nobody is made to feel left out as the organization continues to build on its mighty legion of followers.