NFL Aims To Reach Broad Audience Through Twitter Under Recent Deal
NFL Senior VP/Media Strategy & Development Hans Schroeder said that the NFL and Twitter prior to their recent deal had an "ongoing relationship for years, but conversations about an advertising partnership got serious over the summer, and then moved swiftly," according to Jennifer Van Grove of CNET.com. Schroeder said, "Because of the nature of their platform, of being open publicly and real time ... and really seeing a synergist experience ... we thought this was a great way to start off with something deep with a social partner." Van Grove reported Verizon, the league's partner on NFL mobile and the exclusive distributor of live games to smartphones, was "game to extend its arrangement with the NFL to run Twitter-sized spots." Schroeder said of Twitter, "For us, one of the real attractive things about this partnership ... is the ability to take our content and use their ability to promote within their distribution network, and make sure a number much larger than 5 million people see this content and become more aware of the conversation around the NFL that happens today." The NFL has about 5 million followers on Twitter, but Schroeder said that the league "eyes the larger potential in the crossover between the 190 million NFL fans in the US and the 100 million people or so who use Twitter" in the U.S. He added that the NFL "really wants broad appeal ... and plans to expose its Twitter-specific content to casual and enthusiast sports fans alike." Schroeder: "When we tweet out a highlight as it happens and somebody sees that in that Twitter feed, we definitely think it will lead to incremental viewership." He also said that he "believes Twitter's real-time feed of tweets to be very complimentary to the football watching experience, which explains, in part, why the organization is investing so heavily in creating original content just for people on the network" (CNET.com, 9/29).