The NFL may be best known for its ticket sales and distribution deals, but it’s also a major player in the apparel and accessories industry. In 2017, it generated almost $2 billion worth of revenue from sponsorships, licensing, and merchandise featuring the NFL team logos. The NFL publicizes its stronghold in the apparel market under the name “NFL Fan Style,” where the company creates original social content and forms partnerships with bloggers and influencers.
Vivaldi Chief Creative Officer Tom Ajello spoke to Racked about the NFL’s apparel branding: “It’s a brand’s responsibility for socializing what the brand means in the life of the people they target. The NFL needs you to see how the brand fits your whole life. They need you to see, say, the man cave in your future home that has way too many Giants things in it.” However, their content may not be enough to attract younger sports fan, who are invested in social issues. As he notes, “[The NFL] has to look around the corner” because earning the loyalty of these fans “is really the opportunity.”
He adds, “You want new fans to figure out how to identify a team’s place in your life and your life in it, and then go do something with that. I think there’s a lifestyle component to that — but there’s also a vision and values component to that.”