According to data from YouGov BrandIndex – which monitors consumer perceptions toward brands daily – NFL, DraftKings and FanDuelmade the biggest gains in Ad Awareness in the US for the month of September 2023.
Ad Awareness asks consumers if they have seen an advertisement for the brand in the past two weeks, and the difference between a brand’s low and high scores for the month determines our Advertisers of the Month.
At the end of August, only 28.5% of Americans said they had seen an ad for the NFL in the previous two weeks. However, since the season kickoff on September 7, that proportion has soared to 43.3%, meaning more than two in five consumers have recently seen an ad. This does not necessarily mean that the proportion of fans are increasing, nor the number of Americans who are watching games. It does mean that the NFL’s advertising is rapidly expanding its reach.
Two NFL video spots from the new “You can’t make this stuff up” campaign star Keegan-Michael Key. Produced by 72andSunny, the ads poke fun at conspiracy theories that the league’s most dramatic moments are planned. Key is shown brainstorming outrageous story ideas for the 104th NFL season with league stars such as Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. This campaign will run through the season with another 16 pieces of content. This is to say nothing of the TV networks’ promotion of league games that are run throughout the season.
Online betting company DraftKings had the second largest increase in Ad Awareness in September. This brand promoted the opening of the NFL season with a new campaign featuring Kevin Hart and retired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and made by the in-house team with the help of production company Sweet Rickey. Hart has been a spokesperson for DraftKings since 2019 and returns to promote an offer of $200 in “bonus bets” for new users who place a $5 wager. These ads helped DraftKings move from 19.4% to 28.2% Ad Awareness.
September’s third Advertiser of the Month is FanDuel, another online betting platform. It rose from 14.3% Ad Awareness to 20.6%, for a gain of 6.3 percentage points. This is likely related to a series of “cherish football” spots, made by Wieden+Kennedy, NYC.
FanDuel is partnering with YouTube to offer a $100 discount on NFL Sunday Ticket, which streams out-of-market NFL games. The commercials also remind consumers that they can receive $200 in bonus bets for placing a $5 bet.
The end of September also saw the launch of a new installment of the “winning is undefeated” campaign, run by the Mischief USA agency, which means FanDuel is likely to stay on America’s radar.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings are partnered with most major sports leagues, but it’s likely that their association with the NFL at this time of year is doing the lion’s share of the lifting. The NHL for example, only reached an Ad Awareness of 7.2% in the same period, with the MLB reaching a high of 23.2%. Both are dwarfed by the ad presence of the NFL in September (43.3%).
Methodology: YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. A brand’s Ad Awareness score is based on the question: “Which of the following consumer brands have you seen an advertisement for in the past two weeks?” Data from surveys of adults aged 18 years and above residing in the US from July 26 to August 25, 2023. Ad Awareness scores are based on a four-week moving average. The change in scores for each brand is calculated by taking the difference between the highest and lowest scoring days within the period. Learn more about BrandIndex.