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Volume 23 No. 8
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Corporate sponsors and media partners get set for NFL draft

Workers build a platform across from Nissan Stadium that will be used for activities around the NFL draft.
Photo: ap images
Workers build a platform across from Nissan Stadium that will be used for activities around the NFL draft.
Photo: ap images
Workers build a platform across from Nissan Stadium that will be used for activities around the NFL draft.
Photo: ap images

NFL corporate sponsors are readying activation plans around the annual player draft, which runs from this Thursday-Saturday in Nashville. It’s the third consecutive year in a new locale for the draft and the smallest city to date.

Dannon Oikos Triple Zero yogurt is presenting sponsor of the NFL Draft Experience, a three-day fan fest being staged outside the Titans home, Nissan Stadium. Fifteen country music performances are planned.

Tracie Rodburg, NFL vice president of sponsorships and partnership management, said 27 sponsors will be activating, the same amount as last year in Dallas, and 41 total brands, many supporting the NFL’s 100th season at the same time.

Oikos is also sponsoring a content series on Whistle. First-year sponsor Caesars is using the event as client hospitality for 60 of its biggest customers.

Other highlights include: new sponsor Lowe’s providing infrastructure by helping to build the fan fest and draft stage; Marriott and Visa teaming on a private hospitality area; Procter & Gamble again providing a “style lounge” for draftees and families; Pepsi providing oversized NFL helmets, now established as social media photo targets; and thousands of pizzas being provided by Pizza Hut for hungry staffers.

The draft itself will be staged in downtown Nashville, where Tim McGraw will play the headline concert.

On the consumer products side of the house, Electronic Arts will reveal the cover athlete for “Madden 20,” while New Era will sell its draft caps. Wilson and New Era will make their presence felt with branded trailers. Licensees including Outer Stuff and others will include both the draft logo and the NFL 100th season mark. An NFL-branded store will operate downtown in Cotton-Eyed Joe from Tuesday-Sunday.

The draft will receive extensive television exposure. NFL Network will provide 77 hours of coverage. As a local homage, Dolly Parton has narrated the opening for the network’s coverage, for which Visa is presenting sponsor. Other coverage will be on ABC, ESPN and ESPN 2. Courtyard by Marriott is presenting sponsor on ESPN/ESPN2; Home Depot is presenting sponsor on ABC.