I love summer and I never want it to end…. Except, I find myself consistently looking forward to August for one reason. Baltimore Ravens training camp comes to my home town! I live about 40 miles northwest of Baltimore, in Westminster, MD and every year for 4 weeks we become Raven’s headquarters. The frenzy and anticipation that surrounds training camp is like nothing our little town sees all year. The opening practice this year hit an all time attendance record of 11,506 up 5% over last year (www.baltimoreravens.com). This is a trend seen throughout NFL football, starting with record ratings for the Draft in April, leading into preseason and is anticipated to carry throughout the season.
The NFL Draft moved to prime time for the first time in 2010 and this move led to a 26% increase in ratings on ESPN (www.bloomberg.com). These numbers beat out the two NBA first-round playoff games that were held on TNT during the same time period. With this type of kickoff the NFL is set up to have their best season yet in ratings. On Sunday, August 8 the first NFL preseason game was shown on NBC. This again set record numbers; it delivered the best overnight ratings for any NFL preseason game in six years! It was the number one telecast of the night and it nearly doubled the second place program in the time slot (www.tvbythenumbers.com).
So what does all this mean for the NFL and advertising this season? Last year TV ratings saw an increase of 9% and are projected to increase total viewership of 15% in the 2010 season (www.digitaljournal.com). With the NFL being the most powerful and certainly the most lucrative professional league in the US it has become imperative for businesses to hitch their image and campaigns to this superstar. Advertising dollars are certain to rise this year in conjunction with the banner year that is being projected for the league. With a proper planning, creativity and a little luck this banner year will also lead to success for advertising.