A Winning Combination: Football and Marketing

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons for a few reasons, one being football season. I know what some of you are thinking; she’s a girl, what could she possibly know about football. To you I say, a lot. Not only can I appreciate how Aaron Rodgers looks in his Packers uniform (sorry Bills fans, he’s my favorite), but I can watch a game, whether it’s on TV or in person, and actually understand what’s going on. For the sake of time, this post isn’t about how men don’t think a woman could ever grasp such a complicated game, but rather the influence football has on another passion of mine: marketing.

Image Source: Ad Week

Football season isn’t just about the game and its athletes running around in tight pants (although, I’m not complaining), it’s also about the marketing opportunity it presents various to brands. While some simply anticipate Super Bowl commercials (as do I), at the beginning of every season, I patiently await the new ways brands attempt to utilize football and its players to promote their products.

While we can always count on the North American beer brands, including Miller Lite and Bud Light to use football season and game day to release a new commercial, I’m more interested in the brands that take a player (or players) and effectively create a marketing campaign around them.

This season I have already witnessed many brands from various industries employ a football sensation to promote their products or services. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular names in the NFL this season making an appearance beyond the gridiron, including Robert Griffin III, Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.

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RGIII explodes with adidas Football

Returning this season after undergoing surgery on his right knee’s ACL, MCL and LCL, RGIII’s hard work and dedication will keep him moving forward this season. Taking an inspiring, although grandeur, approach, adidas Football does an excellent job of marketing the adidas Football brand as a whole and not just a specific product. A major player in college football, including contracts with Notre Dame, University of Michigan, UCLA and Texas A&M to name a few, it looks like adidas might be attempting to work its way into professional football, despite the NFL’s contract with Nike.

A rough start to the season for RGIII, I’m sure his apparent hard work and determination will pay off eventually.

Rodgers takes off with a new State Farm “Discount Daaa-ble Check”

Another year of football means another year of Aaron Rodgers and State Farm commercials. A personal favorite of mine, football season (any season really) wouldn’t be complete without Aaron Rodgers and the cheesehead guy. While humor has always been at the forefront of the State Farm’s “Discount Double Check” marketing campaign, this year they take it to a whole new level with the addition of SNL’s 90s characters, Carl and Bob of “Da Bears” sketches. (If you are unfamiliar with these skits, I highly recommend checking them out)

Capturing the long-time Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears rivalry, you can’t help but laugh at the commercial. Let’s just see who’s laughing at the end of the season. Go Pack Go!

Kaepernick and Wilson attend summer camp with EA Sports

EA Sports tells us the story of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson’s “friendship” to promote Madden NFL 25. Effectively using hyperbolism and humor, EA Sports certainly caught the attention of many. Like the competitive nature of the game and a match-up “twenty-five years in the making,” the Seahawks and 49ers took to the field this past Sunday; a loss for the 49ers, Kaepernick “shaved” off one of his eyebrows as the result of a bet.

Let’s hope December’s game doesn’t result in another lost brow.

Peyton and Eli go old school with DirecTV

Not your typical advertisement, DirecTV and the Manning brothers filmed an entertaining music video. “Your phone ain’t for callin’, your phone’s for footballin’” is just one of the memorable one-liners in the rap based on DirecTV’s Football On Your Phone (F.O.Y.P) campaign. An alternate approach to the typical TV ads, this YouTube has had more than seven million views in just over a month.

Who knew these wholesome quarterbacks could rap? Despite an impressive performance, I suggest Eli and Peyton stick to throwing the pigskin.

What are some of your favorite football-inspired commercials or marketing efforts this season? Let me know if I missed any noteworthy performances in the comments below.

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