×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NFL Renews Snapchat Deal for Two Years, Will Flood the Zone for Sunday Games (EXCLUSIVE)

The National Football League has snapped the ball again to Snapchat, extending its content partnership with Snap for the 2018 and 2019 seasons — with a brand-new Sunday gameday experience starting this year.

The NFL’s new “Sunday Publisher Story” will deliver news and highlights of games to Snapchat users during the season, with updates at least once per hour during the NFL’s Sunday games. That will let the NFL deliver an even richer feed to fans on its busiest days of the season, augmenting the recaps and features the league will continue to present on Snapchat.

“For us, this is mostly about deepening the engagement with the fans who are already on Snapchat,” said Blake Stuchin, NFL’s VP of digital media business development. “The Sunday Publisher Story will be told specifically from a perspective and tone designed for the Snapchat audience.”

The league also heard feedback from advertisers that they’d be interested in buying into a fuller-featured Sunday content package. Under the NFL pact, Snap primarily sells ads.

The NFL struck its first deal with Snap in 2015. Last season, 42 million unique U.S. viewers engaged with NFL content on Snapchat, with 52 million Snapchatters overall worldwide. The NFL is especially interested in the Gen Z/millennial crowd on the app: 70% of Snapchat users who watched NFL content in the U.S. for the 2017-2018 season were under 25.

Snapchat is “very much aligned with an ongoing interest we have in engaging younger audiences,” Stuchin said.

The league’s business goals in working with Snap partly are promotional, to be sure — designed to help steer fans to tune in to live games on TV, and buy tickets and merchandise. But the Snapchat deal represents a revenue stream in its own right. “It’s a profitable and growing partnership for the NFL and for Snap,” Stuchin said. “It’s not an insignificant amount [of revenue] for them, or for us,” he added, noting that Pepsi and Verizon are among the NFL’s key marketing partners across Snapchat and other platforms.

Under the two-year extension, regular and postseason game footage and other NFL-related content will continue to be featured within Snapchat’s “Our Stories” section, including fan-contributed posts. In another new wrinkle this season, the NFL will embed and share the Snapchat content across its platforms including NFL.com and NFL Mobile apps.

The NFL’s “Our Stories” feature, in addition to user-generated content from fans, also offers unique access at the league, club and even player level, Stuchin said: “It’s a great way to show that the best way to watch an NFL game is — and will always be — in the stadium. This has always been a showcase for that.”

In addition, the NFL and Snapchat will continue to collaborate to create custom geofilters featuring all 32 NFL clubs, allowing users to apply team-specific artwork to their posts when they are at NFL stadiums, practice facilities and league events.

“We really feel the NFL content on Snapchat is complementary to what you can find on other platforms – particularly linear TV,” said Juan David Borrero, Snap’s senior manager of partnerships.

In addition to the NFL, Snap has content partnerships with all the major leagues in the U.S., as well as with NBC and the IOC for the Olympics. Snap also recently teamed with Fox Sports to feature the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The NFL is currently in conversations with Snap about potentially producing another Snapchat Show, the company’s short-form format for serialized content. Previously, the league has produced three original Snapchat Shows: “The NFL Show,” a recap program that aired during the 2016-17 season; “One Shot,” in the spring of 2017 leading up to that year’s NFL draft; and “Football Town,” about Georgia’s Valdosta High School football team making its first championship run in 19 years, which ran during the 2017-18 season.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Paramount & Adobe Launch ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Trailer Remix Contest

    Adobe has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to launch a remix contest for the trailer of “Terminator: Dark Fate,” which is set to debut in theaters November 1. The winner of the contest will get $10,000 as well as a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership and a private screening of the movie for up to [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content