In comparison to other professional sports agencies in the world, the NFL stands hands and shoulders above all the others, raking in billions of revenue dollars annually thanks to weekly games, endorsement deals, and of course the Super Bowl – their grandest event of the season.
It’s not only through these avenues that the NFL makes the big money – they are also several other ways in which the league and its teams generate millions upon millions, namely through broadcasting rights, merchandising, ticket sales, and licensing deals. Since all teams in the NFL are individually owned, they rely on several lucrative contracts to turn profits. Here are some examples of the most lucrative deals signed by the NFL and its teams on 2018.
The biggest revenue stream for the NFL is through television, with about 70% of the league’s money coming through televised games each week that are broadcast across several television networks. The networks compete against one another every few years for newer contracts that line the pockets of the billionaires owning the teams. In January of 2018, Fox announced a Thursday Night Football contract with the NFL that spans five years and around $450 million.
Last year, the NFL and Nike reached a 10-year deal with Fanatics, an online retailer. The deal grants Fanatics exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute all Nike NFL adult products to consumers starting 2020. The merchandise will be available to purchase in NFLshop.com and Fanatics.com, as well as in physical stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods. The deal is expected to significantly increase the already huge NFL income from sales of licensed goods.
The most popular and most lucrative team in the NFL by far is the Dallas Cowboys, and their 2018 deal with Winstar World Casino is valued in the multi-millions and is the first partnership between a casino and an NFL team. The deal includes brand exposure for Winstar in the AT&T Stadium, preseason games, title sponsorship of the team’s pregame shows and much more. The deal doesn’t include exposure to Winstar.com online casino which is currently not available in the US. This lucrative casino deal is likely to open the door for other teams to capitalize on as well, as other organizations stand on the sidelines to see how it plays out financially.
Joining the big league of NFL sponsorships last year was Sleep Number, a bed company that produces smart beds that assist body movement and adjusting firmness. Based in Minnesota, the company already had exclusive contracts with the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, serving in the capacity as their official sleep wellness partner. 2018 saw the deal expand to the entire NFL league as Sleep Number became the NFL’s 27th official partner
Pepsico is one of the biggest companies in the world, and with a bid of $560 million, it is now the official cereal sponsor for the NFL, providing healthy living solutions to players. The Chicago-based food giant has been in business for more than 130 years and has been a sponsor indirectly with the NFL since 2001.
As the official WiFi provider for the NFL, Extreme Networks has only been in business since 2014 but has made waves in the industry, helping to expand the fan experience across stadiums all over the country. Their WiFi systems cater to NFL fans by providing high-speed connections to stream content, upload photos, and interact on social media.
The NFL and the military have been partners for years, with the league raking in huge amounts of money to plug the Department of Defense. More than $6 million has been paid to the NFL to help raise draft enrollment, strengthen national pride, and encourage patriotism. The value of the deal cannot be truly weighed in numeric terms, but its impact has been significant.