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Data: Media & entertainment top NFL ad spenders

September 21, 2022

As the NFL season returns, companies continue to invest major dollars into their advertising spend. MediaRadar conducted an analysis that includes sampling of ad spend from US TV broadcasts, including cable networks – namely ABC, CBS, CW, Disney, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL Network, and Telemundo and the networks’ sister channels (ex: Fox Deportes, etc).

“Last year, digital currency players made a splash by making their way to NFL’s gameday advertisers,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO and Founder of MediaRadar. “Between top crypto names like Coinbase,, and FTX – there was a combined $67 million ad investment. Separately, we saw a surge in electric vehicle companies entering the ad game, bringing new advertisers like Wallbox showcasing their EV charging solutions during the regular NFL season. Will we see the trend of new players joining the big stage continue into the 2022 NFL season? Looking at the spend at preseason games this year, we anticipate companies like streaming services and financial providers amongst the top advertisers.”

Key findings include:

Top Categories Advertised during NFL Preseasons

  • Media & entertainment is still the leading category in preseason games despite a decrease in ad investment YoY. This year, subscription streaming services, fantasy football leagues and mobile apps remain top spenders.
  • Insurance companies, banks and accountants (taxes) were top finance advertisers in 2022’s preseason.
  • Within the tech category, cell providers, web browsers and financial software lead this year’s preseason games.
  • Auto manufacturers increased investment to promote their new models this preseason

Advertising during the NFL 2021 and 2020 Seasons

According to MediaRadar’s data sample, during the 2020 NFL season (Sept 2020 – Feb 2021) there was over $6 billion invested in advertising. That investment increased 14 per cent YoY during the 2021 NFL season (Sept 2021 – Feb 2022) to over $6.8 billion.

  • The 2021 NFL season saw a 4 per cent YoY increase in the number of companies and a 7 per cent YoY increase in the number of brands showcased during the season.
  • 60 per cent (510) companies advertised during both 2020 and 2021 NFL seasons.
  • Three top advertisers during 2021’s NFL season were Amazon, Apple and Toyota – with a combined spend nearly reached $571 million. Toyota was the only that decreased YoY by 6 per cent. Amazon and Apple were up 5 per cent YoY and 229 per cent YoY respectively.

Top Categories Advertised during NFL Seasons – 2021 and 2020

During 2021’s NFL season the top five categories accounted for 23 per cent (over $1.5 billion) of the total ad investment.

  • While insurance companies were the top advertisers during the 2021 NFL season, there was a 3 per cent YoY decrease in ad spend – still nearly $497 million was invested from 10 companies.
  • Companies such as Intuit, and Lowe’s advertising their apps, but crypto ( and FTX) and gambling companies ( joined the ranks to showcase apps.
  • Investment during the NFL season for quick service restaurants topped $282 million despite a 19 per cent YoY decrease.
  • Ad spend from cell providers exceeded $271 million during the 2021 season – a nearly 40 per cent decrease. All major advertisers decreased: AT&T was down 70 per cent YoY, T-Mobile reduced investment 55 per cent YoY, and Verizon decreased 4 per cent YoY.
  • 81 per cent of the nearly $225 million invested in 2021 advertising import automotive brands came from three top NFL season spenders: Honda, Hyundai and Toyota all invested over $50 million each.

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Markets, Research

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