US Football in America Market Report 2020
“Football is the number one sport in America and is expected to maintain this position. The NFL dominates television ratings each year and generates billions in ad revenue as a…

US Football in America Market Report 2020

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

“Football is the number one sport in America and is expected to maintain this position. The NFL dominates television ratings each year and generates billions in ad revenue as a result. Despite teams only playing one game per week, many fans remain highly engaged with the sport throughout the week – creating ample opportunities for brands to connect with these consumers. As with many industries, COVID-19 has severely impacted the 2020-21 football season. With several college football seasons canceled/postponed, the NFL remains hopeful it can play the upcoming season, albeit likely without fans. Should more college or professional football seasons get sacked by COVID-19, brands and consumers will both be left with massive voids to fill.”
– Colin O’Brien, Sports Analyst

This Report covers the following areas:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the football industry
  • Opportunities for brand integrations through football
  • The intersection of the sports and gaming worlds
  • How fans will watch NFL games moving forward

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • Top takeaways
              • Market overview 
                • As TV ratings rise, so do network contracts
                  • Brands continue to increase ad spending with NFL
                    • Impact of COVID-19 on football in America
                      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on football in America, July 2020
                    • Opportunities and Challenges
                      • Football audibles to virtual experiences
                        • Figure 2: Virtual Tailgate and NFL Draft Experiences
                      • Sports and gaming worlds continue to intersect
                        • Figure 3: Sports and gaming worlds intersect
                      • NFL teams explore the “pod” fan experience
                        • International fandom could take a hit, but will get right back up
                          • Figure 4: NFL and Sky launch first international NFL-dedicated channel
                        • Crowded sports schedule creates challenges for consumers’ attention
                          • Embracing the social justice movement
                            • Figure 5: NFL players and league support of Black Lives Matter
                        • The Landscape – What You Need to Know

                          • NFL dominates ratings and ad spend
                            • New advertising options open across the sport
                              • Football and fans embrace sports betting
                                • Supporting social justice movements
                                • The Football Landscape

                                  • Billions at stake for football
                                    • More sponsorships, just less expensive
                                      • NFL TV contracts and ratings are on the rise
                                        • Brands still (and will continue to) spend big on football
                                          • Figure 6: EPL seat tarp advertising
                                        • Safety issues remain a concern for fans and the sport
                                            • Figure 7: NFL focuses on improving player health and safety
                                          • The “new” in-person fan experience will go beyond just social distancing
                                          • Key Indicators Impacting Football

                                            • Unemployment could lead to ticketing promotions and new service offerings
                                              • What’s happening
                                                • What’s ahead
                                                  • Figure 8: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007-June 2020
                                                • Virtual NFL Draft results in increased engagement methods and record viewership
                                                  • What’s happening
                                                    • Figure 9: Praise for the 2020 NFL virtual draft
                                                    • Figure 10: Bud Light Seltzer #BooTheCommish campaign
                                                  • What’s ahead
                                                    • New advertisements opportunities
                                                      • What’s happening
                                                        • Figure 11: Bud Light Seltzer logo on XFL helmet
                                                      • What’s ahead
                                                        • Football finally embraces sports betting
                                                          • What’s happening
                                                            • What’s ahead
                                                              • Figure 12: Sports betting integrated into score bugs
                                                            • Growing the fanbase through streaming
                                                              • What’s happening
                                                                • What’s ahead
                                                                • Social Justice Efforts in Football

                                                                  • NFL and college football players use platforms to create change
                                                                    • Figure 13: NFL players and league support of the Black Lives Matter movement
                                                                  • Promoting diversity in NFL hiring practices
                                                                    • Public and brand pressure leads to Washington Football Team name change
                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Football fandom is widespread and dominated by the NFL
                                                                        • TV remains the prime method of following football, but social media is quickly gaining in importance
                                                                          • Football gives back to local communities
                                                                            • Ancillary games increase interest in football, especially among younger and male fans
                                                                              • The football halo effect
                                                                              • Exploring Football Fans

                                                                                • NFL fandom is nearly synonymous with football fandom
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Football fandom, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Football fandom passion, April 2020
                                                                                  • Football fandom is not as gendered as one might think
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Football fandom, by gender, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Football fandom passion, by gender, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Time spent watching/listening to football per week, by gender, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Time spent following football per week, by gender, April 2020
                                                                                  • Growing the female fanbase
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Katie Sowers leads the way for women in football
                                                                                  • Black fans lead the way in football fandom
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Football fandom, by race and Hispanic origin, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 22: NFL fandom passion, by race and Hispanic origin, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 23: Patrick Mahomes BioSteel endorsement
                                                                                  • Room to grow fandom among Gen Z; Millennials are all in
                                                                                    • Figure 24: Football fandom, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 25: Time spent watching football per week, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 26: Time spent following football per week, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                • Following the Action on the Gridiron

                                                                                  • TV remains the number one option
                                                                                    • Figure 27: Methods to follow football, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                  • Social media brings fans closer to the game and players
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Social media brand integration
                                                                                  • Radio still offers utility among older fans
                                                                                    • Fall sports logjam a cause for concern among Gen Z
                                                                                    • Growing Future Interest in Football

                                                                                      • Increasing football fandom presents a difficult proposition
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Increase interest in football, by fandom, April 2020
                                                                                        • Figure 30: Sport-focused brand promotions
                                                                                    • Brand Integrations in Football

                                                                                      • The football halo effect
                                                                                        • Figure 31: Allstate field goal nets
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Bud Light Chiefs Super Bowl bottles
                                                                                      • Tailgates offer in person engagement
                                                                                        • Figure 33: Traditional and virtual tailgate experiences
                                                                                    • Football Gives Back

                                                                                      • Local communities are the number one priority for charitable works
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Calais Campbell and Microsoft coding camp
                                                                                        • Figure 35: NFL COVID-19 relief
                                                                                    • Football Goes Beyond Fandom – It’s an Identity

                                                                                        • Figure 36: Football attitudes, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                      • Fans wear their fandom on their sleeve, literally
                                                                                          • Figure 37: NFL branded women’s apparel
                                                                                          • Figure 38: Local apparel NFL partnership
                                                                                          • Figure 39: Instagram shopping for NFL merchandise
                                                                                        • Seeing players’ personal touches
                                                                                          • Figure 40: My Cause My Cleats campaign
                                                                                          • Figure 41: Social media touchdown celebration fan engagement
                                                                                        • Get to know the players as people
                                                                                          • Figure 42: Content opportunities showcase personal side of athletes
                                                                                          • Figure 43: Brand integration through gaming
                                                                                        • Brands need to take advantage of the exclusive content
                                                                                          • Figure 44: Sponsored social media exclusive content
                                                                                        • COVID-19 Impact
                                                                                        • Playing the Ancillary Football Games

                                                                                            • Figure 45: Football attitudes, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                            • Figure 46: Football attitudes, by gender, April 2020
                                                                                          • Fantasy football offers its own industry within an industry
                                                                                            • Figure 47: IBM Watson and ESPN Fantasy Football Engagement
                                                                                            • Figure 48: DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championships
                                                                                          • Sports betting will continue to grow and feed football
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Bad Beats SportsCenter segment
                                                                                          • Video games provide new ways to brand football
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Excitement around EA Sports’ Madden 21 Player Ratings
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Madden NFL 20 Bowl sponsors
                                                                                            • Figure 52: Leveraging popularity of gaming to reach fans
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                              • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                    • Appendix –Consumer Data

                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Football behaviors, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Football behaviors, by gender, April 2020
                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Football attitudes, April 2020
                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Increase interest in football, by generation, April 2020
                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Increase interest in football, by gender, April 2020

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