The NFL’s Verizon collab shows the power of DTR’ing partnerships

Friday, September 10, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Beautiful (cell) reception... Verizon is celebrating in the endzone. Yesterday, the NFL and Verizon announced a 10-year 5G partnership. By installing faster 5G connectivity in NFL stadiums, Verizon wants to foster new in-person experiences for football fans.

  • Better than a jumbotron: Fans in stadiums can now see seven different live angles and AR overlays of Next Gen Stats on 5G-enabled phones.
  • Game tickets > couch tickets: The NFL hopes to get fans off the couch and buying $300 tickets by offering a live experience plus at-home stats and insights.
  • Gameday exclusives: Verizon gets a chance to show off its fresh 5G capabilities, and potentially poach fans from AT&T and T-Mobile with exclusive gameday coverage.

Brands go long on NFL partnerships... because they want the NFL's huge — and hugely engaged — audience. Last year, 71 of TV’s 100 most-viewed events were NFL games. Meanwhile: Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile spend billions competing for the 5G market — which is expected to hit $148B by 2028 — but have still struggled to win customers. If football fans need 5G to get the most premium access at Cowboys games, they may migrate to Verizon.


Defining the relationship is key... and brands want to make it official. Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Nike, and Verizon pay as much as $100M+ per season to be official NFL partners. Thanks to corporate partnerships, NFL revenue increased 10% last season — despite empty stadiums. Similarly, the Tokyo Olympics had the worst TV viewership in 33 years, but the International Olympics Committed (IOC) still raked in a record $2B+ in global sponsorships — because Coca-Cola, Toyota, and Airbnb paid big bucks to be “official” Olympic partners.