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The NFL is Bringing Main-Character Energy


The NFL is Bringing Main-Character Energy

It would be fair to say that the NFL is experiencing some serious main-character energy. If you are not rooting for Taylor Swift’s boyfriend’s team to win the Super Bowl then you might be shouting for Kristin Juszczyk’s husband’s team to take the spoils. 

If you are infuriated by any of what has already been written then maybe you shouldn’t read on, this is about the opportunities the NFL is serving up to influencer marketing in 2024, and dare we say it, it’s predicted to be bigger than one spectacular weekend in February. 

The NFL is Bringing Main-Character Energy

Heavy Hitters

As we have identified, there are some pretty big influencers in the NFL sphere at the moment, of course, there is Taylor Swift, the hard-working woman can do no wrong, unless you are a hardcore superfan of the NFL who can’t see past the end of their nose, then her just existing does them wrong. Swift is bringing a fresh audience to the NFL, let’s face it, over 50% of people in the USA say they are Taylor Swift fans. If that’s not a sustainable audience to ensure the longevity of the sport, we are not sure what is. 

Swift is doing to the NFL what the WAGS did to UK soccer  – did you think this was a new thing? Victoria Beckham was one of the OGs, bringing a new fan base to sport alongside Cheryl (Cole at the time) – some tuned in for the football and some for the WAG (wives and girlfriends – a term that is thankfully now rather outdated) fashion. Just imagine the hits TikTok and Instagram influencer marketing campaigns would have garnered when those women took over the beautiful game. 

Making Hay

The NFL is absolutely capitalising on the new attention it is getting from its social media audience, in fact, it has been trying very hard to generate more interest in the sport by targeting Gen Zers with a YouTube campaign encouraging influencers to make full use of its content on their channels. Last year it paid YouTube influencer Lisa Nguyen (4M YouTube) and content creator Katie Feeney (3.2M YouTube and 7M TikTok) to attend the Draft and to promote the NFL Sunday Ticket on their platforms

The aforementioned Kristin Juszczyk has been squirrelling away at creating a following of NFL fans and fashionistas, if you haven’t seen her reworked outfits as she supports her husband Kyle, in her versions of his NFL San Francisco 49ers kit, her designs have caused a viral stir. In particular, a custom-made puffer jacket she made for Taylor Swift which sent Swifties into NFL overdrive, and some other fans all shades of red, when the singer-songwriter was spotted sporting Kelce’s number in the stands. 

It has been reported that Juszczyk has been granted a license allowing her to use the ‘NFL marks in men’s and women’s apparel designs’ but no financial details of the deal have been reported. This could be a big deal for Juszczyk as she now has a following of 400K on TikTok and 940K on Instagram. This is a definite ‘watch this space’. 

Women in NFL driving seat

At the turn of the year Meagan Loyst, founder and CEO of Gen Z VCs predicted that women would ‘be the biggest growth driver’ for the NFL.. Referencing the statistics for the Chiefs vs. Dolphins play-off game which had Taylor Swift who showed up to support her boyfriend Travis Kelce and Alix Earle who is dating Dolphins player Braxton Berrios. 

Loyst detailed that the ‘NFL TikTok account posted 20 videos from the game, garnering 19.7M views…40% of the impressions were fashion-related, be it Travis Kelce’s pre-game day fit or Taylor Swift’s custom jacket that’s taking the internet by storm’. She went on to point out that Earle’s ‘six videos from attending the Chiefs x Dolphins game got 32M views, far surpassing the NFL’s viewership on TikTok’, despite only showing less than five seconds of the actual game itself, it was all GRWM and outfits that caught viewers’ attention. 

She finished off her 2024 influencer prediction by saying ‘the dads, brads, and chads better buckle up! More ladies are coming to the NFL, expect to see even more content and products targeting women.’ 

Viewership records

Last week the NFL released its viewership figures for the 2023 season and it is no surprise to hear that they are up on previous years. The NFL playoffs averaged 38.5 million viewers for the Wild Card, Divisional and Conference Championship rounds – according to records dating back to 1988 it was the most-watched playoffs ever and up +9% versus last year. Told you the NFL was full-on main-character energy!

The NFL stated that ‘in total, 120.4 million viewers tuned in for Championship Sunday – the highest total unduplicated audience since 2016-17’. All we’ll say is that Swift’s Chiefs and Juszczyk’s 49ers both played games on that day…but the players should get some credit too.

“Our record-breaking viewership is driven by the incredible play on the field that only the NFL postseason can deliver and presented by the best media partners in the business,” said Hans Schroeder, executive vice president of media distribution with the NFL. “All eyes now turn to Las Vegas for what will be the culmination of an unbelievable season with Super Bowl LVIII.”

Bright future

Indeed all eyes do turn to Las Vegas this coming weekend and according to you really can’t go wrong with the following hashtags #nfl #football #nflfootball #fyp #nflplayoffs #viral #superbowl #sports which have generated 6.9 million posts and 104.5 billion viewsbetween them.

The future is bright in the NFL with plenty of player pre-game and post-game outfits, the wives and girlfriends outfits (will Juszczyk ever sleep again!), the thousands of game day GRWMs, the game day snacks, the tailgate content, the Super Bowl half time show, the celebration kisses and the commiseration hugs, the glimpses of Taylor, and perhaps a brand new audience showing up to find out what this NFL buzz is all about…

We’ll leave you with George Kittle perhaps influencing Harry Potter fans into the open arms of a very welcoming NFL, it’s not quite quidditch but could it become the second game of choice for Potterheads?

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Fiona Alston is a dynamic freelance journalist and news reporter based in Tallinn, specializing in the influencer and creator economy, technology, and the intricate dynamics of Ireland's business landscape. With a rich background in broadcast journalism from The University of Sunderland, including a multimedia work placement with BBC Newcastle, Fiona brings a unique blend of expertise to her contributions at, Irish Times, RTÉ, Business Post, and Image Magazine. Her passion for tech, innovation, health & fitness, and positive storytelling shines through her work, as she delves deeply into the worlds of start-ups, influencer marketing, and the rapidly evolving creator economy.

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