The partnership centers on Snapchat’s Live Story feature, and debuted in Week 1 of the NFL’s 2015-16 season last week. Snapchat reached a similar deal with Major League Baseball earlier this year, and has been steadily expanding its partners for Discover.
However, the content that the NFL packages for Snapchat, which has more than 100 million users worldwide, will not include any footage from the league’s TV broadcasts.
The NFL and Snapchat have created a weekly programming schedule that will feature all 32 NFL teams and will be available worldwide to all Snapchat users each week of the NFL’s regular season and continuing throughout the postseason, including Super Bowl 50. The next NFL Live Story will go live ahead of Thursday night’s game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs and will be available on Snapchat for 24 hours.
Each NFL Live Story, curated by Snapchat, will “provide an experience that captures the energy and excitement from various NFL locations and events,” the companies said. A mix of fan-submitted snaps and official content will be featured in each Live Story; Snapchat users who have their location services on at select NFL event and game locations will be able to contribute “snaps” to the NFL Live Story. In addition, NFL and Snapchat will team up to sell advertising and sponsorships for the Live Story content.
For the NFL, the Snapchat tie-up is part of a revamp of its digital properties this season. The league has consolidated multiple services: NFL Now has been merged into its redesigned NFL Mobile app and other digital outlets, while the premium-priced NFL Now Plus has been discontinued and is now part of Game Pass, a single digital-subscription plan for U.S. fans for $100 per year. Game Pass U.S. provides access to audio-only live gamecasts and on-demand HD replays of all 256 regular-season games.
In addition, this year Verizon Wireless, which has exclusive NFL live-streaming rights on mobile phones, has dropped the $5 monthly access fee to watch the games for all customers.
“Partnering with a popular platform such as Snapchat is another important step in our plan to reach our fans wherever they are, whether on NFL.com, NFL Network, NFL Mobile or outside of those properties,” Blake Stuchin, NFL’s director of digital-media business development, said in a statement. “The weekly programming schedule will provide another touch point for millions of fans to connect and share around their passion for the NFL while creating a unique vehicle to reach that audience for our trusted partners and sponsors.”
Added Ben Schwerin, Snapchat’s head of partnerships, “Our users will get an exciting look at what’s it’s like to be right in the middle of the action with the fans and players all season long.”
The partnership comes on the heels of the NFL’s first Live Story on Snapchat around the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago, which was viewed by nearly 15 million fans worldwide.