We see them everywhere, they are on the streets, in our home, on our phones, even on us. That’s right, Advertisements are everywhere, and in few places in America are advertisements most prevalent than in sports, and in particular, the NFL. Unlike other sports where breaks are naturally going to happen between innings/quarters/ etc., the NFL has a more forced approach to advertisements, and it’s getting pretty ridiculous.
In 2013 the Wall Street Journal calculated that the average NFL game has about 11 minutes of live action, and that each play is about four-seconds on average. Fun fact: most games telecast has about 17-minutes of replays during each game. Despite the games lasting ” 60 minutes” the average game last about 3-hours and 12-minutes (even though there are only 11-minutes of action between whistles). So where does most of that gap come from?
The answer: the mandated 20 commercial breaks that showcase upwards of 100 commercials per game watched. In fact, during the game according to a Wall Street Journal’s study they found that about 63-minutes of commercials play a game.
While that may be a 5.7/1 – minute ratio of commercials to actual gameplay. The ads do not just stop there. There are sponsors for downs, in game promotions, sponsors for scoring and almost every other action between the whistles. It is a game that has in recent years over swamped fans and viewers with ads.
The final stats before we get into a solution to the issue is to put out there that from 2010-2013 the NFL saw a rise in official sponsorship earning going from $870-million to $1.07-billion in sponsorship deals outside of commercial deals (local advertisements not included).
So a solution to the oversaturation of advertisements in the NFL? The answer isn’t coming from America, but rather Europe.
Ever watch the worlds game, aka: Futbol/ Soccer. There are no natural breaks, all televised commercials appear before the match, at half time, and post match. However they include a field (or pitch) wide electronic banner that allows for advertisers to advertise to both the televised audience, and the in game audience. This method doesn’t take away from the game on the field but allows for the brand recognition to exist both in stadium and on television. Finally another big money maker, on jersey advertisements. No not like NASCAR, but more like the Euro-style one company sponsor on the front or back of the jersey. It already is a part of America’s men’s soccer programs (MLS, USL, etc.) and it doesn’t seem to bother anyone there so why not integrate it into other American sports.
I hate ads, I hate how every touchback there is a commercial (a side-effect of the moving the kickoff up). I hate that the local plumber company can sponsor a third down (as if it would of never happened if they didn’t give the NFL money ). I hate the endless amount of ads I see in general, but especially as I’m trying to watch football. There are solutions out there, all it takes is an open mind to potential ideas. While I don’t think ads will ever go away or be limited to a specific amount of time, there has to be a way to reduce the volume of ads. There is no secret that a sport like soccer in the U.S. has slowly been growing and the sport has non-stop action with no breaks for advertisements during gameplay. If the amount of ads continue, it is plausible to say that sports with limited ads mid-action like hockey (which does have few breaks I know) and soccer may continue to rise in popularity at a quicker pace.
This article brought to you by: @scottcriscione