Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 1
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Sponsors draft stars, contests for activation

A high of 24 league sponsors are activating behind this week’s NFL draft, which begins Thursday.

Bud Light will provide contest winners from each team with a VIP draft experience.

EA Sports will have Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders announce the team’s first-round draft pick, and he will “put fans on the clock” to start voting on a new cover athlete for “Madden NFL 15” from among 16 players.

Round 2 of the draft, happening on Friday night, will be sponsored by Bud Light, which will provide contest winners from each NFL team with a VIP draft experience. Additionally, one of the winning fans will announce a second-round pick on stage. The 31 other fans will be card carriers for their teams.

There are some intriguing social media activations planned, as well. Procter & Gamble’s Tide brand will tweet out pictures of draftees wearing their new jersey “colors” after they are drafted. Longtime league sponsor Campbell Soup will support its 17-year-old “Mama’s Boy” campaign and celebrate the fact the draft is being held days before Mother’s Day by donating 200 cans of Chunky soup to a local food bank every time a first-round draftee thanks his mom personally or via social or traditional media, which will then be distributed using Campbell’s social media handles and #NFLmoms.

Frito-Lay’s Ruffles is launching a campaign that asks fans to tweet their trivial problems using the hashtag #RoughLife for a chance to win NFL prizes. New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker will be the face of the campaign, which builds from the brand’s pitch of the “problems” that come from having a chip not sturdy enough for dip.

Nike is again producing customized NFL jerseys for draftees on site. As of press time, Nike had 14 rookies signed among this year’s class of draft prospects (see chart), double the number that the brand had last year heading into the draft. In the New York market specifically, Nike is supporting its draft activation with digital and out-of-home messaging.

New Era is using the draft to debut a Draft Reflective cap, which has reflective material on top of the cap’s gray visor that reveals a “mosaic of team word marks and logos” when exposed to a camera or camera-phone flash.


New Era’s Draft Reflective cap reveals team marks on the visor when exposed to flash.

Bud Light is presenting sponsor of the 16 hours of live draft coverage on ESPN, and ESPN2 will televise all 16 hours of the draft across Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The draft also will be streamed on WatchESPN. Additionally, ESPN will present more than a dozen hours of NFL draft-related studio programming from Thursday through Sunday. Other principal sponsors are GMC, Experian, Mars and Oberto Beef Jerky.

NFL Network will have 51 hours of live coverage and has signed Verizon as its presenting sponsor. Lexus, GM and Bridgestone also have primary positions.