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Volume 26 No. 206
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NFL Training Camps Drew More Than 1 Million Fans This Summer

Five years ago, just nine NFL teams required tickets or registration for camp events; now, all 32 do
Photo: titans
Five years ago, just nine NFL teams required tickets or registration for camp events; now, all 32 do
Photo: titans
Five years ago, just nine NFL teams required tickets or registration for camp events; now, all 32 do
Photo: titans

More than 1 million people attended an NFL training camp event this summer, league Senior VP/Club Business Development Bobby Gallo said. There are no prior year comparisons available, so it is impossible to tell whether that number has grown. But it marks the first time the league has attempted to measure total camp attendance, and it would not have even been possible until recently, Gallo said. Five years ago, just nine clubs required tickets or registration for camp events; now, all 32 do. The commercialization of training camp is handled at the club level, and the league has not issued any rules or guidelines, Gallo said. But clubs have rapidly gained an appreciation for the value that can be generated by giving more fans more ways to connect with the team. “The football side is conducting business the way they need to conduct business. But from the business side, these are way more than training camp practices,” Gallo said. “These are really viable touch points for fans to experience the game in a different way." Not all of the events directly generate revenue. But with every team now requiring registrations, the events generate useful data on fans, many of whom are not season ticket holders during the season.

SHARING CAMP HIGHLIGHTS: Gallo’s club business development division has been sharing best practices from training camp. In a recent newsletter to clubs, the division shared mini-case studies from around the league’s camps. That includes the Titans’ “Kickoff Party” presented by Pinnacle, built around an intra-squad scrimmage at Nissan Stadium; the Colts’ use of a text-to-chat function that brought tailored messages to fans attending camp at Grand Park; an Alzheimer’s Awareness Day in Denver and a Special Olympics event that coincided with a Buccaneers camp day.