NFL Training Camp marks the beginning of a new season for fans — and a great way to build excitement ahead of fall football. Over the last few years, teams adapted their sponsorship, social, and content strategies, as they built valuable brand partnerships, created user-centered content, and gave fans unprecedented access (whether to players or before, during, and after games). With raining camp started last month, and we’ve highlighted some of the top trends and viral moments.
The Rise of TikTok at NFL Training Camp
It’s no secret that TikTok and short-form videos are taking over social media, and the NFL took note. Social media is a rapidly changing environment, so influencers, brands, and teams are jumping on trends before they are old news. NFL teams have embraced this and are using TikTok to generate fandom and video views. The top five teams in the NFL over the past 30 days with the most TikTok video views were the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tennessee Titans.
TikTok is an opportunity to show player personalities and a side of the game that fans never really could access. One of the top trends for NFL teams is rapid fire question videos, where they ask a simple, funny question to as many players on the team as they can within the allotted video time. Here are some of our favorites.
Baltimore Ravens Baby Photos
The Baltimore Ravens posted a TikTok video sponsored by Coca-Cola where their players guess their teammate’s baby photos. The video is not only entertaining, but it’s a great example of creatively generating content with partners while giving an inside look into players.
Atlanta Falcons Madden Ratings
When the EA Sports Madden 23 ratings were revealed, the Atlanta Falcons took to TikTok to show what their players thought of their new ratings. In the process, the Falcons created valuable exposure for their training patch sponsor, AT&T, as they interviewed players coming off the field.
Minnesota Vikings Riddles
The Vikings also jumped on the rapid-fire question trend by testing their players with a riddle. Their training camp jersey patch sponsor Training HAUS, an athletic & sports performance company, gained valuable exposure on this high-performing TikTok video.
NFL Training Camp Sponsorship Integration
NFL teams and brands are making the most of the training camp attention by using sponsorships and logo lockups on social posts. Diversifying sponsorship placement based on different social media channels is essential to effective sponsorship promotion and engagement.
In order for our NFL customers to easily track, value, and report their sponsorships and training camp campaigns, we set up Campaign Tracking on top of the brand, scene, and asset detection plus active versus passive exposure.
Green Bay Packers x Bellin Health
Aaron Rodgers turned heads on social media when he strolled into training camp with his best Nicolas Cage impression from “Con Air”. The Packers have featured Bellin Health on their training camp logo lockup throughout the 2022 training camp. The Rodgers-Nic Cage post received more than 30K engagements.
Dallas Cowboys x American Airlines
The Dallas Cowboys leveraged their American Airlines partnership (most notably their naming rights and training patch partner) when they featured the airline in almost every training camp social media post. From player arrivals to highlights on the training field, American Airlines was a constant fixture.
New York Giants x Dunkin’ Donuts
The New York Giants’ training camp social media series “Giants Now” features a logo lockup with their sponsor Dunkin’ Donuts. Content built around a specific brand makes it feel more approachable and familiar for fans.
Detroit Lions x Rocket Mortgage
The Detroit Lions’ Rocket Mortgage sponsorship is a great example of creating effective and active exposure. Using Blinkfire’s Strength Meter™, you can see that the campaign logo is visible on all devices for the following training camp post, thus creating maximum exposure for Rocket Mortgage.
Bring on the Training Camp Fun!
One of the most popular content trends during NFL training camp had nothing to do with football. Because fans want to see more than just football content, teams are giving an inside look into players’ personalities and hobbies with trivia questions, pranks, and more!
Indianapolis Colts – Pie to the Face
The Colt’s beloved mascot “Blue” is one of the most energetic, funny, and iconic NFL mascots. Blue took over social media by playing backyard games with players and even threw pies in the faces of Colts’ employees. This TikTok post alone generated more than 1.5 million engagements on TikTok.
Buffalo Bills – Case Keenum Prank
Case Keenum, Buffalo Bills’ backup quarterback, played a prank on his teammates when he pretended to be a passionate fan on the hunt for an autograph. The TikTok video generated over 444K engagements for the Buffalo Bills.
Detroit Lions x “Hard Knocks”
Since 2001, HBO’s “Hard Knocks”, a reality sports documentary show that follows an NFL team during training camp and preseason, has been NFL fan favorite. The 16th season of “Hard Knocks” focuses on the Detroit Lions, and it’s already off to a hot start with multiple viral videos on social media. The Lions have quite a few personalities on the team, which many perfect moments for social media content.
Aiden Hutchinson showed off his vocal talent during his rookie training camp, singing Michael Jackson’s hit song “Billie Jean” in front of his NFL teammates. Not only did the video go viral, but fans also noticed funny teammate reactions in the original video which created even more content.
HBO Max Movie Poster
HBO, the producer of “Hard Knocks” (along with NFL Films), is highlighted on many posts, creating engagement around the show for the Detroit Lions and NFL fans.
More Attention, More Views
Because of “Hard Knocks” popularity, more eyes are on the Detroit Lions — and making the most of these viewership spikes, as partners like Rocket Mortgage are receiving increased value across Lions’ content.
Interested in learning more about Blinkfire Analytics and how you can power your social media, partnerships, and BI teams? We’re here to help — shoot us a note.
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