There’s no doubt that the NFL is the king of all sports in the United States. It has the highest viewership, the largest media contracts, and the most sponsors. With that in mind, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has set a goal for the league to amass $25 billion in revenue by 2027.
This season, the league will generate about $15 billion in revenue. One third of that is paid through the media contracts with the TV networks (CBS, DirecTV, ESPN, Fox, NBC), with the rest paid via a variety of sponsorships.
But as the NFL wades through an era of fragmented viewership (cord cutting), controversies (concussions, player protests), and aging demographics, it is looking for new ways to generate revenue.
Part of that is looking beyond traditional media outlets, like TV and radio, and seeking money from tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. Amazon is linked with the league through the streaming of Thursday Night Football, and Twitter also was back in 2014. But the NFL is hoping for more from Silicon Valley, pitting them against the TV networks for various broadcast packages.
With legal sports betting spreading across the country, the NFL is also hoping to tap into that market. With the NFL about $10 billion away from its revenue goal, it’s not unrealistic to think that the league could hit the $25 billion goal not only by 2027, but perhaps even sooner.
The league’s media contracts are expiring after the 2021-22 season, and the networks should expect to pony up even more than what they’re currently paying. Sponsors will also continue to line up to associate with the NFL as long as the iron is hot.
The NFL has already signed Caesars Entertainment as its first casino sponsor, and Intuit was brought in as the league’s first-ever presenting sponsor of its conference championship games. Perhaps a presenting sponsor for the Super Bowl isn’t too far fetched.