NFL Weekly Insights

Zoomph is tracking all team and league affiliated accounts, highlighting the best performing and unique brand activation and top teams by platform week by week.
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Geoff Blosat

Senior Data Analyst @Zoomph

The top teams by follower growth rate during Week 1 of the regular season

This week’s average growth rates were 2-4x what they were during the preseason. On Facebook, only four teams saw net growth in followers in the preseason. This week? 19.

Thanks to the big win on Thursday, the Buccaneers were the top team in follower growth rate across social. Having the extra eyeballs to accompany solid content featuring TB12 was a big W.

The Bengals & the Rams join em as the teams to see Top 5 growth across all platforms

The top teams by engagements/fan during Week 1

Engagements/fan across the league was 2x what it was during the preseason, especially on FB (+138%)

However, compared to last year Week 1, engagements/fan is:

  • Down 22% on TW
  • Down 7% on IG • Down 10% on FB

The most impactful content across the NFL this week as compared to each teams’ 30-day averages

These posts from the Panthers & the Dallas Cowboys saw 46x, 7.6x, and 38x more engagements than avg. respectively. And that Panthers video is going to keep growing 👀

Shout-out the Bengals for being the only team in the NFL that finished Top 5 in engagements per fan across all platforms

From capturing fan emotion to leveraging the LSU connection, they rode the momentum of last season’s strong year on social to capitalize on the win

Trash talk is commons in sports, as teams will take every chance to celebrate their dubs

But using social to silence doubters can be an effective way to spark life to your brand & get fans to celebrate along with you

Led by the Chargers, here were the best from Week 1:

Hype videos are a common thing to bring fans together before games & events. The ones that truly stand out are the ones that match what the fanbase cares about.

Tying it in with the backbone of the team & fan is what takes the good to great

Fans go beyond just who roots for you within your city. Fanbases can grow thanks to college connections, generational gaps, or fans of certain players.

Using social media to document these can help bring all those groups together, leading to nice boosts in engagement.

The top teams across YouTube during Week 1 of the NFL season

Thanks to the most viewed video of the week, the Rams saw the most views & views/video

7 of the 10 most impactful videos across the league were postgame reactions

Top Sponsors: Branded content

As the NFL kicks off, here were the top sponsors across the league by value earned on branded content during Week 1.

From brands sponsoring anywhere from one team to ALL teams, a thread of the content that helped partners earn value from digital assets

Score graphic entitlement are a great way for brands to earn high exposure value on highly engaged-with assets. This week, betting site Unibet earned the most for theirs thanks to the Steelers & the Eagles.

Other top ones include T-mobile, Gatorade, & Incogmeato.

Sponsoring more content from teams than any other brand, Bose finished 3rd this week thanks to content variety.

Out of 29 teams it sponsored posts for, Bose earned the most from:

• Buffalo Bills (Soundbites)
• Pittsburgh Steelers (Travel photos)
• Carolina Panthers (Gameday graphic)

Stadium sponsors Allegiant, SoFi, & Gillette also were in the Top 10 this week thanks to more than just their stadiums being mentioned.

From sponsored posts to gameday graphics, going beyond just putting your name on a stadium can go a long way online

On top of that, social accounts for stadiums, where the brand name is always present, are an extra value add to that sponsor value on social media.

Stadium social accounts for these three brands boosted their value by 16% in Week 1.

Top Sponsors: Logos

Lastly, what brands earned the most for their logos alone?

Ignoring content entitlement, here were the brands that earned the most for their logo placement.

Nike Football generated $3.2 million for their equipment placement so they were excluded.

What goes into logo valuations?

Beyond just the value of the post (impressions + engagements), other factors are considered for each individual logo:

• Size
• Location on screen
• Clarity
• How many other logos are present
• Time on screen for videos

The right timing of IG photo -> swipes, clear shots within the stadium, as well as focused looks at as well as focused equipment pics helped to really boost that exposure value.

Here were some of the top examples across the league:

Takeaways

• If working w/ multiple properties, it’s important to organize your assets & see what’s working & what isn’t
• Stadium sponsors: do more than just slap your logo on the grounds
• That stadium signage isn’t just valuable on TV!

The top sponsors across the NFL in Week 2 from a branded content lens

Nissan was the big beneficiary of the Ravens’ SNF win as 5 new partners join the list this week.

Continuing their TNF entitlement from last season, Bud Light saw the most value from branded content this week.

Bud Light was also the top non-gameday sponsor with the Broncos Showtime Cam, the Steelers game leadup graphics, & creative one-off posts.

A regular in the Top 10, Invisalign hopped to #2 this week thanks to the Packers win & sponsored content featuring players all conveniently smiling.

Tying your name with highly engaging posts w/ theming that matches your sponsor message is a win for all parties.

With the season now in full swing, mid-week content series either directly from the NFL or ones that tie in every team have kicked off.

This large exposure leads to strong season-long returns.

Pepsi, Energizer, & Invisalign were on top this week.

The top sponsors across the NFL in Week 2 from a standalone logo exposure lens

In-stadium signage, jersey patches, backdrops, and sponsored content highlighting all played a role in the value earners this week.

Strong signage in-stadium helps to enhance the value of naming right entitlement. That was shown with M&T Bank & the Ravens in particular.

They also saw noticeable value for their logo placement on Buffalo Bills final score graphics.

With the right balance of sponsored content through the week & effective logo placement, GEICO ranked high w/ both sponsored posts & logo captures.

It’s one thing to partner on content. It’s another to ensure your logo is featured effectively & you get your money’s worth.

The top teams by follower growth rate during Week 2

The Washington Football Team saw the biggest improvement week over week on Twitter & Instagram while the Titans & Raiders saw the biggest improvement on Facebook & YouTube respectively.

Average follower growth rate on Twitter was down 28% & down 26% on Instagram.

After two straight high-profile wins, the Raiders saw Top-5 follower growth rates & growth rate change across all platforms.

With the new stadium open to the public & the year off to a good start, Vegas should continue to gain fans in their new market as the year progresses.

The top teams by engagements per fan during Week 2

Week over week, the Titans saw the biggest improvements week over week on Twitter and Instagram while the Lions saw the biggest improvement on Facebook.

Week over week, average engagements/fan were down 15% on Twitter, 6% on Instagram, and 6% on Facebook.

The most impactful content across the NFL this week as compared to each teams’ 30-day averages.

These posts from the Washington Football Team & the Ravens saw 67x (👀), 7.2x, and 47x more engagements than avg. respectively

Shout-out to the Ravens for being the only team that finished Top 5 in engagements/fan across all platforms.

From taking a moment from TV & making the most of it to remembering notable figures to their fanbase, they had the spotlight on em & shined in a big way

The power of the celebrity remains unmatched. Some notable figures are well-known to be fans of your team. Some might not be.

Leveraging THEIR audiences to accompany yours leads to that unified engagement and hopefully follower growth crossover.

Your players can be content machines. From mic’d up moments, to behind-the-scenes access, to full fledge series, letting them be themselves is a win for all.

Seeing the success of the player cams from training camp, this access is continuing nicely into the season.

The top teams across YouTube during Week 2

Team video views are up from Week 2 to Week 1 as content production improved 6% week over week.

Las Vegas Raiders saw the biggest improvement in views week over week while the New England Patriots saw the biggest improvement in views per video.

Generating 2.8x more views than any other video across the league & 15x more views than their 30-day avg, Gronk & Brady together again was a content dream for the Buccaneers.

Building on these series will keep fans coming back throughout the year & for years to come.

Takeaways

• Both sponsor & team need to work together to highlight partners effectively
• Account for all performance in your recaps, both logos & mentions
• Celebrate short-term wins but don’t forget to focus on the long run
• YT will continue to rise in importance for teams
• Be ready to provide the right access to your fans in case a shining moment arrives
• Building new content series, especially ones highlighting your players, will help create stickiness w/ fans

The top teams by follower growth rate during Week 3

Green Bay Packers see the largest change in Follower Growth Rate across Facebook and Instagram while the Panthers see the largest change on Twitter.

The league average growth rate on Facebook improves for the 3rd straight week while going down everywhere else.

Shout-out the Rams as they had the largest follower growth rate across ALL platforms in Week 3 after a big win at home.

From showing off player personalities to providing a full range of access, they, like Las Vegas last week, are continuing to grow in their “new” market.

The top teams by engagements per fan during Week 3

Green Bay Packers doubled their engagements/fan across all platforms & had the biggest change week over week on Facebook & Twitter. Cleveland Browns had the biggest change WOW on Instagram.

League-wide, engagements/fan improved 3% week over week on Twitter.

The most impactful content across the NFL this week as compared to each teams’ 30-day averages.

These posts from the Panthers & the Packers saw 84x (👀), 6.9x, and 30x more engagements than avg. respectively.

The Packers saw double the engagements per fan in Week 3 as they saw in Week 2, finishing in the Top 5 on Instagram & Top 10 everywhere else.

Yes, winning on Sunday helped, but the effective stories they were able to share during the week around it helped put them over the top.

Winning on Sunday helps but what you do during the week can help build your brand & engagement win or loss.

Despite Sunday’s loss, the Chicago Bears mid-week content was a bigger influence on their overall performance than any other teams’.

Some top examples to the left:

This past week, a few teams celebrated alumni, both during the week & on gameday itself.

Alumni celebrations can really spike engagement within your internal fanbase, win or lose, especially from those who might not lean on social as an initial engagement point.

The top teams across YouTube during Week 3

The Packers & Ravens both double their total video views & views/video week over week as league-wide as views dip week over week across the league.

Beyond the long-form content, YouTube is a search engine. Create a hub for everything interview, postgame, etc. for people to search & turn to for all reactions.

The top sponsors across the NFL in Week 3 from a branded content lens

5 new partners join the list this week, from the aforementioned Levi’s to Miller Lite x Cowboys.

Both LEVIS & ATT win big with the 49ers & Dallas Cowboys playing at home for the first time this season.

  • Levi’s: Game entitlement partner & sponsor of celebrity features in-stadium.
  • AT&T: Effective use of stadium handles & features in pregame graphics.

Sponsoring content from nine teams this week, Verizon saw a major jump in value thanks to game entitlement sponsorship of the Rams.

They also sponsor press conferences from the Saints & have pregame video features w/ the NY Jets to name a few.

Eli Manning was honored during the Giants game Sunday. Investors Bank sponsored all the digital coverage of the event.

Despite the season not going their way so far, honoring a beloved alum paid off in the social engagement department & paid off big time for the partner.

The top sponsors across the NFL in Week 3 from a standalone logo exposure lens

7 of the Top 10 remain the same week over week with Gillette being the biggest riser & newcomer.

NFL stadiums are not as optimized for logo incorporation as baseball, hockey, soccer, & basketball stadiums

This is why it’s so important to have the full perspective & not just rely on the highlights to capture footage. On-field media, creative stadium perspectives, etc.

Overall Takeaways

  • Your mid-week content can be just as effective as your gameday coverage.
  • Treat YouTube as not just a content hub, but an SEO landing spot with a longer post life than anywhere else.
  • Tie your brand name to the right thing & it can lead to returns far greater than what you see on an average day.
  • Optimize your staff to ensure full coverage on gameday to help w/ full coverage & additional stadium logo value.

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