For the first time in its eighty-year history, America’s National Football League has appointed an external ad agency to promote the NFL brand and devise a long term consumer marketing strategy.

The league’s choice, WPP-owned Young & Rubicam, New York, inherits a history of inhouse TV campaigns noted for their no-punches-pulled ethos. The annual airtime occupied by NFL’s commercials, although rarely paid-for, is valued at between $120 million and $150m.

Y&R ‘s first assignment is the creation of campaigns for events such as the season-launching Kickoff Weekend. It will also handle promotions for the Super Bowl, plus research, account management and occasional media planning/buying.

According to NFL senior vp for marketing and entertainment programming John Collins, Y&R was the sole contender for the business, having worked previously with the league on its United Way charitable project.

News source: New York Times