SBD/November 7, 2013/Media

NFL Media's Rolapp Says Deal With Twitter Can Only Help Build Brand Further

Rolapp says drawing fans back to NFL stadiums remains a challenge
NFL Media COO Brian Rolapp appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning to discuss the league's social media strategy, including its recent deal with Twitter. Rolapp said, "Our fans are talking about football wherever they go. Twitter just actually makes it that much more engaging, and so you'll see a ton of consumption on a Sunday or a Monday night or a Thursday night, where fans are already talking about the game. The question of getting more content in front of them creates a lot of monetization." Rolapp said of whether this helps Twitter or the NFL more, "The NFL has a pretty good track record of helping build platforms. Where we put our content, platforms benefit. That's fine, that's why we have partners. It is certainly worth a lot to Twitter, but it's worth a lot to us and that's one of the strengths of Twitter. They have a monetization model that is really focused on helping content owners grow the pie." Rolapp said there "aren't a lot of cons" in the deal with Twitter, and at the league office, "we always say we don't have to be first, we just have to be good and that's probably led us to be more cautious sometimes in some of our partnerships." Rolapp was asked how social media can be used to drive more fans to the in-game experience and said, "Getting people into the stadium to watch the NFL, which we think is still the best place to experience the NFL, is a challenge for us and we continue to work and social is part of it." He added there are "hundreds of millions of people" on Twitter and, "I'm interested in reaching those people." Rolapp: "On a big game in the NFL, if we get 20-25 million people, we've done a pretty good job of monetizing that amount of audience. If I can get that many people in a digital platform, I think we'll figure out how to monetize it." Rolapp also noted that for the NFL in the social media space, "we do more with Twitter than we do with Facebook" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 11/7).
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