While the football world looks for more heads to roll following the aftermath of Monday night’s mistaken call laden Seattle Seahawks 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers, there appears to have been one other winner (other than Pete Carroll’s club and probably the pockets of the veteran referees down the line) that was probably unexpected as the controversial ending unfolded…Nike.
The apparel maker, in its first year with the NFL after taking over from Reebok, had its neon swoosh front and center on receiver Golden Tate’s shoulder as the touchdown catch/interception unfolded last night. That controversy, with the replay being shown time and again across hundreds of newscasts Monday night and into Tuesday morning, produced an unexpected windfall of brand value for Nike. How much? According to one research firm, Comcast-owned Front Row Analytics, the value in just a few short hours was almost $700,00 when you factor in the time and clarity of the logo across networks that were monitored, including CNN, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, Fox News, HLN and ESPN (all day), as well as nightly broadcast news and ancillary cable outlets.
“That type of ancillary brand exposure is one of the reasons Nike came back to the NFL,” said Chris Lencheski, CEO of FRMS. “They are master marketers who know where and how the swoosh will resonate, and that neon green swoosh on the uniform shoulder certainly delivered, albeit in an unconventional way, for Nike Monday night. It is a great example of the intangibles that come from a major partnership like the NFL.”
FRMS also pointed out another prime piece of unclaimed real estate in the NFL inventory that has gotten more exposure due to the referee lockout…visibility of coaches headphones on the sideline. More controversy leads to more sideline coaching shots, usually with the head and assistant coaches in communication with staff off the field, all wearing their league-issues headphone. In year’s past, those headphones had a sponsor emblazoned on the ear piece…the latest one was Motorola whose deal has expired. This year thus far the headphones are either bare or have an NFL shield on them, a brand value which has been estimated at over $40 million dollars for the full season. “The real estate in the NFL for brands is prime for sure, and with coaches getting even more visibility this year with all the controversy, there are some brands that are missing out on some great exposure,” Lencheski added. “That is something that may change, but for now, it is a lost opportunity for a partner.”
Who said replacement refs didn’t bring value.