Just when you think the NFL can’t fly any higher, the league’s popularity soars to new heights. NFL regular-season games averaged the most viewers since 2015 and the second highest since averages were first tracked in 1995. The Wild Card playoffs drew nearly 137 million fans—the second largest total audience on record.
Against this blockbuster backdrop, the league is unveiling new and lucrative sponsorship avenues for blue-chip brands. This is exemplified by Pepsi, a longtime NFL partner. Pepsi became the "Official Zero of the NFL” this season, compelling the league to allow players to wear jerseys with the number “0” for the first time in its history. Meanwhile, Toyota inked a multi-year agreement last October to become the NFL’s Official Auto Partner.
The NFL also continues to grow its audience and entice younger viewers via savvy distribution deals—like the NFL Sunday Ticket, which moved to YouTube TV this season in a seven-year partnership that will pay the league some $2 billion annually. Amazon Prime Video's Thursday Night Football ended its second season with an average 11.7 million viewers per game in 2023.
With the US market firmly in hand, the NFL has its sights set on a growing list of distant shores. Twenty-one clubs participated in its Global Markets Program in 2023 across 14 international markets, up from 19 clubs across 10 markets the previous season. In December, the league announced plans to play a regular season game in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2024—marking the league’s first foray into South America—and voted to expand the slate of international matchups from four to up to eight games in 2025.
For all these reasons and more, we’re thrilled to unveil our NFL Marketing Partnerships 2023 Report. Jointly authored by SponsorUnited’s Marketing Research and Analytics departments, it encompasses more than 2,100 brands, 3,500 sponsorship deals, and more than 49,000 sponsorship assets from September 1st, 2019 to January 8th, 2024.