With the first football-related excitement since the conclusion of the NFL season, the NFL draft marked the first opportunity for all football fans to start rooting for their teams once again. As the final draft picks were announced, we were excited to take a look at the social data we’ve been collecting since the morning of the draft. With NFL fans tuning in to see which college stars might be picked to give new hope to their team, brands and advertisers saw an opportunity to attract a piece of the attention, with some partnering directly with the NFL and individual teams, or even activating purely on social to stand out.
To track activity surrounding the NFL draft, we monitored mentions of & posts from the NFL and each of the 32 teams, as well as #NFLDraft and other related hashtags from the morning of 4/25-4/28. Here are some insights we discovered.
Over 425.4 thousand posts were collected in our feed and generated over 33.6 billion impressions on social media, which we calculated equals over $176.4 million in impression value. With over 1.1 million people engaged in the conversation, our new engagement valuation capabilities produced a value of $22.7 million over the length of the draft.
For sponsorship activations, owned brand activity is not the sole way to measure and assess the value. Brands create content that allows them to join the conversation and potentially attract attention from fans interested in the draft. As a result, we looked at brand activity, brand mentions, and engagements.
Sorted by total projected impression value, here are the Top 10 brands and sponsors surrounding the NFL Draft.
Ahead of the draft, Nike Tweeted a video aligning with their #JustDoIt campaign, which featured the #1 draft pick of the league, Kyler Murray. They used this inspiring content, as well as similar content for other top picks like Hunter Renfrow to contribute to the conversation and highlight players on their big day.
- Impressions Value: $129.9K
- Total Social Activity: 4.6K
- Projected Reach: 8.4M
- Impressions Value: $146K
- Total Social Activity: 70.5K
- Projected Reach: 15M
What an amazing night. Can't wait to join my @AZCardinals teammates and get started. Check out my #NFLDraft card now on #PaniniInstant. https://t.co/N6gkSarxQ9#BeRedSeeRed #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/j8nB8j0lJ3— Kyler Murray (@K1) April 26, 2019
- Impressions Value: $156K
- Total Social Activity: 16.3K
- Projected Reach: 6.2M
NOW OPEN - The @NFLDraft Experience presented by @Oikos Triple Zero. It is the ultimate @NFL experience with a Music City touch as there is live music to hear, food from local restaurants, and more. Come!— Nashville Tennessee (@visitmusiccity) April 25, 2019
See more: https://t.co/1GctTtjdl0 #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/ywoxvuHfzq
Verizon was a presenting sponsor of the NFL Network’s draft coverage, sponsored behind the scenes content with teams like the Giants, and used the event to showcase the benefits of their loyalty program. They gave select Verizon Up members the chance participate in different parts of the NFL Draft, like announcing a team’s draft pick to walking the Draft red carpet. These activations raised awareness of the program and rewarded loyal customers with access to unbelievable experiences, which likely created powerful brand advocates for life.
- Impressions Value: $226.5K
- Total Social Activity: 4.5K
- Projected Reach: 6.6M
- Impressions Value: $278K
- Total Social Activity: 2K
- Projected Reach: 26M
- Impressions Value: $278.9K
- Total Social Activity: 2.9K
- Projected Reach: 8.7M
Apart from sponsoring content for the official NFL account, Visa took a unique approach to their draft and sponsored upcoming NFL players participating in the draft. Players like, Logan Ryan, Daniel Jones, and Derrick Henryv all posted about their time in Nashville and included the #VisaAmbassador hashtag.
- Impressions Value: $402K
- Total Social Activity:6.8k
- Projected Reach: 25M
The beer brand created team specific content congratulating each on their draft, as well as bringing their famous Bud Knight to Nashville, this years draft city for special appearances. They also hosted their own pop-up tavern as part of their NFL activation.
- Impressions Value: $473K
- Total Social Activity: 4.7K
- Projected Reach: 28M
Another official partner of the NFL, EA Sports announced Patrick Mahomes as the cover athlete of Madden 20, and created individual video mock-ups of each drafted player in their new team’s uniform. This gave a cool preview for both players and fans to get excited about, while also giving them an opportunity to involve themselves in the conversation around player drafted.
- Impressions Value: $1.9M
- Total Social Activity: 84K
- Projected Reach: 42M
As an official partner of the NFL, Bose played a big role in the Draft. From being featured in content by players and teams, to being worn in touching content stories from the NFL, the brand creatively kept their products featured throughout the draft
- Impressions Value: $5.2M
- Total Social Activity: 109K
- Projected Reach: 38M
- Investing in sponsorship of an event, team, or player, without developing a proper social campaign to amplify it, keeps your brand from tapping into a large amount of exposure. (Bose, EA Sports, Bud Light, Lowes, Verizon, and Nike got this right).
- Higher indexing campaigns use display a greater level of creativity, whether it’s product integration or powerful storytelling, it typically wins big with audiences, and feels less like an unwanted ad. (Bose, EA Sports, Lowes and Panini America nailed it here).
- Find ways to showcase value. Whether it’s headphones for watching videos, realistic graphics helping get a first looks at players in their new jerseys, building the event stage, or even getting to experience unforgettable events, it’s a more meaningful way to position your brand. (Bose, EA Sports, Lowes, and Verizon led with this).
- Involve influencers in your sponsorship and social campaign. Bringing in influencers related to the area of sponsorship, like pro football players or upcoming draft picks, help increase the authenticity that your campaign is presented to audiences with. (Bose, Bud Light, Lowes, and Verizon all did a great job of this).