Digital Sport Insider: How NFL UK keeps the brand alive in the off-season
With the Premier League football season coming to a close, along with the club rugby campaigns and the end of winter sports for another year, there may still plenty for the discerning sports fan to enjoy. But for those who are working behind the scenes at clubs and leagues who are stopping for the summer, this can be a challenging time.
It is undoubtedly true that fans are still attempting to find news and opinion about their favourites teams, league and players. It’s also true that every club needs to keep their presence felt in the off season.
And when you’re talking about individual tournaments or events that only gets more interesting – how does the Open or Wimbledon keep its tournament alive for most of the year? What about the Masters golf, which now has almost an entire year to navigate?
We dig back into the archives of the Digital Sport Insider podcast to see what Sarah Swanson, Head of Marketing, NFL UK, had to say about how they keep the brand alive in the off-season.
Talking about how NFL UK deals with creating content between their games, and indeed between seasons, one theme really comes back: how can you use your assets – players and coaches etc – to keep fans in touch.
In the UK, the NFL has been brilliant at it. They’ve taken to bringing interested Premier League footballers on board, they’ve done tie-ins with football and rugby clubs in the UK, trying to ensure that fans of those sports see a natural link to American football, and how maybe it’s not so foreign after all.
Before American football returns to our screens in September, there’s lots of time for this sort of content, but the UK arm of the NFL arguably has even more down time to worry about. Given there are only four games a season in the UK, and they all happen in a short period in the autumn, their job is almost more like a smaller event than an entire league. Having said that, NFL UK doesn’t just see itself as an entity for the London games but rather as covering the entire league for the whole season and beyond.
It can be difficult to engage with fans when there’s no actual sport going on, but it’s a necessary part of life in the digital world these days. Getting creative and enlisting your star players is paramount.
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