TOP PRODUCTS FROM ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP BRANDS
The National Football League is the most popular sports and entertainment in the world – with 32 teams and millions of fans. And beyond Sunday, its often the league’s consumer product offerings, from t-shirts and hats to dog leashes and chili bowls, that are the most tangible manifestation of that fandom. With an ever-growing array of product offerings from top licensees, the NFL needs to put its best foot forward to grow its fashion, “Homegating,” and other consumer product initiatives. We’ve been proud to work with the league in this mission for over two years.
In building the persona for NFL Fan Style on social, we quickly landed on one driving theme: celebrating and enhancing the life of an NFL fan. We drilled down into this strategy through content that fit into one of two buckets: aspirational and instructional. Showcase what perfect fandom looks like, and then help the audience get there.
On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, we accomplished this through fashion commentary, an illustrated “Rules of Fan Style” series, recipes, weekly previews and recaps, fan profiles, gift guides, celebrity and player content, and more.
Analyzing the social landscape for NFL Fan Style, we saw there was one must-have network that the league had yet to activate on: Pinterest. Working with the league, we strategized over the 2015 offseason about how to build and launch the NFL’s official Pinterest account.
Helped by fashion icon Kristen Cavallari and football legend Dick Butkus, we debuted the account with the 2015 NFL Draft. With an all-hands-on-deck effort, we developed more than 2,000 pins for launch, including custom street-style photography, original “mocktail” recipes, team color palettes, gift guides, and more.
We know that being an NFL fan isn’t just an interest, its an identity. And to highlight the league’s most passionate fans, we turned the NFL Fan Style Instagram account into an ongoing celebration of their spirit.
With regular street teams at games and in cities, we collected the real-life stories of real-life fans. These are families, couples, friends, co-workers, and neighbors all united in their fandom. These earnest fan profiles turned into some of our most powerful, and most effective content anywhere.
As fans ourselves, helping to celebrate the culture of fandom has been a continually rewarding experience. Through a refined content strategy and an precicion-targerted advertising plan, we’ve seen audience counts skyrocket. In the past year alone, Instagram saw 140% growth – and Facebook grew 1,317%, now both strong channels for supporting NFL consumer products.
Engagement has increased across the board as well, with our marquee content pieces across platforms routinely getting four and five digit reach metrics. And while the goal here is awareness and not direct sales, we’ve seen our top pins regularly drive thousands of dollars of revenue to retail partners.
Our work with NFL Fan Style continues into the 2016 season with a Fantasy Blogger League, custom-crafted NFL “sliders,” and other exciting initiatives.
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