As the National Football League came roaring back to life in September, advertising awareness for the league skyrocketed.
According to YouGov BrandIndex data, ad awareness for the NFL brand shot up by 94% in the month of September, the highest month-over-month increase of any brand tracked by YouGov, making it this month’s advertiser of the month.
YouGov tracks thousands of brands every day in several categories. BrandIndex ad awareness in the sports category is based on responses to the question “which of the following sporting events/leagues have you seen an advertisement for in the last two weeks?”
At the end of September, a third (33%) of the nation said they’d seen an NFL ad, which is just shy of the 36% who said so during Super Bowl LIII.
Ad awareness among all age groups increased between September 1 and 20: 19% to 22% among those aged 18-34, 17% to 31% among those aged 35-49, and 16% to 38% among those over 50.
In addition to ads to spark excitement around the start of the season, the NFL has been running several spots featuring personal stories from players of inequality and racism as part of its Inspire Change initiative in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
And to address COVID-19 concerns, at least one recent ad touted its protective measures to keep players and staff safe.
Buoyed ad awareness for the NFL may also be a result of other brands’ creative marketing efforts around the return of football, including those from ESPN, Frito-Lay and Subway. With sporting events canceled earlier in the year, major sponsors are keen to reach a wide audience after having few opportunities since the beginning of the pandemic.