The Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell made more than $44 million last year, that’s a comfy $3.6 million per month. His salary is up from the $11.6 million he made in 2011 and the $29.5 million in 2012, business is good. In 2010, NFL commissioner Goodell said he expects the NFL to achieve $25 billion in annual revenue by 2027.
The NFL is really good at making headlines all year long and that’s one thing all of us can try to recreate. The regular season starts in September and the Super Bowl happens in early February, but the NFL doesn’t stop after a champion is crowned. They manufacture news during the preseason, regular season, postseason and offseason – the NFL is always up to something and it isn’t a coincidence. They’re brilliant at planning – leading up to Super Bowl XLIX they rolled out a machine gun schedule: weekly playoffs in January, East-West Shrine Game on January 17, Senior Bowl on January 24, Pro Bowl on January 25 and Super Bowl on February 1.
Here is a big picture look at the 2015 NFL annual calendar, which covers two seasons:
- January: Playoffs
- January 17: East-West Shrine Game
- January 24: Senior Bowl
- January 25: Pro Bowl
- February 1: Super Bowl
- February: NFL Combine
- March: all 2014 player contracts expire at 4 p.m. EST; 2015 league year and free agency period begins (4 p.m. EST) and trading period for 2015 begins (4 p.m. EST)
- April 30: NFL Draft
- May: teams may elect to hold their rookie minicamp
- June: more free agent contract deadlines
- July: Training Camp
- August 5 – August 11: Hall of Fame Weekend and first preseason game
- September – December: regular season
I’ve had clients in seasonal businesses suggest we shut it down during the valleys and ramp efforts during the peaks – not a good idea. The ultimate goal is to establish relationships with your customers and maintain that connection throughout the year. Relationships can’t be turned on at your leisure. And if business is good today without multi-channel marketing, it doesn’t mean it will be next month or next year, strike while the iron is hot. The NFL is comfortably situated as the most profitable league in the world right now, but they’re not resting. The NFL was in London for three matchups in 2015, the 12th, 13th and 14th games to be played there since the 2007.
The planning phase is critical:
- Step back and look at the year as a whole – a calendar will help, I like the old school calendars on paper
- Insert events, press release story angles, social media activity, marketing activity and all initiatives accordingly, space them out over the year and avoid unnecessary competition. I recently worked a multi-day festival that overlapped with Super Bowl Sunday – bad idea
It’s unlikely your brand will experience the 24/7 global attention like the NFL, but you can match (or get close) on a smaller scale within your desired market. Whether it’s Miami, Florida; Omaha, Nebraska or a segment such as Caribbean travel or golf… you can remain relevant year-round with proper planning, vision and creative storytelling.