Ford is set to announce its return to F1, official NFL team social media set a record in value this season and the NBA 2K League is setting up shop in D.C.
The Pro Bowl games kicked off Thursday night on ESPN with a reimagined week of competition between the AFC and NFC that replaces the traditional Pro Bowl game. The first day from the Raiders HQ in Henderson, Nevada included a dodge ball tournament, a long drive competition, a lightning round with a water balloon toss and the chance to dump a bucket of water on opposing coaches, and the first round of the best catch competition that's meant to be the equivalent of a slam dunk contest for wide receivers. Did you watch? I guess starting on a Thursday evening makes sense to try and drive awareness heading into the weekend, but it will be interesting to see the viewership numbers when it's all said and done.
Good morning. It's Friday, February third. This is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright filling in for Abe Madkour.
Ford is set to get back into F1 with Oracle Red Bull Racing starting in 2026 with an announcement due today at the team's 2023 car reveal in New York according to reports out of Europe. The two-time reigning champions of F1 are doing the car reveal in America this year to pay homage to its growing fan base in the US, but it will also now serve as the ideal location to reveal that the Detroit based global car maker is getting back into F1 for the first time since 2004. The BBC reported that the deal will be announced today and that Ford sent the information to an Italian news agency without saying it was under embargo. The story was published and then taken down shortly afterwards. Ford joins GM as American car giants who have now stated their intentions to get into F1, which started spiking in popularity during the pandemic in 2020, and now is going to host three races in the US this season. The most of any country. Ford won't join until 2026 because that's when F1's new, more sustainability focused rules package will begin.
Social media teams at NFL clubs created more than 147,000 posts this season, earning 48 billion impressions with an engagement rate of 2.67%. Notes are SBJ Atlas's, Derek Moss, who analyzed new data from Zoomph. That means the total value of all official NFL team social media was an all-time best $1.4 billion for the 2022 regular season. Week 18 earned nearly 100 million on its own.
The Eagles drew $52 million in total social media value in route to the number one seed in the NFC, a spike of 131% over last season. Both figures led the league. The Bills were third in total value at 46 million and second in social value growth at plus 122%, but led the league in new followers on Twitter, plus 25%, Instagram plus 42%, and Facebook plus 11%.
No brand takes advantage of its relationship with the NFL on social media better than Nike, which generated more than $32 million in social media value from its NFL related posts. That again, per data from Zoomph. That's almost 17 times more than what second place, Oakley, generated 1.85 million from its NFL content.
In terms of bang for the buck, Castrol led the way by earning 2,600 per exposure for its NFL content, which ranked just ahead of M&T Bank, the venue naming right sponsor for the Ravens and also a sponsor of the Bills.
Look for more of this data in a new SBJ Atlas white paper being released next week, and check out a wrap-up of the NFL regular season in a special webinar next Wednesday. You'll find the details at sportsbusinessjournal.com.
The NBA2K league's efforts over five seasons to spread the league's appeal to a younger demo looks to be paying off. 2K league president, Brendan Donahue, tells SBJ that fans of his eSports league are now twice as likely to buy an NBA ticket and five times more likely to buy a subscription to NBA League Pass, the league's out of market game streaming service. Connecting leagues with younger game playing demos has been a goal since properties began licensing their IP to game publishers, and whether it be Madden with EA, the PGA tour, or NBA with 2K sports, Sony with MLB, and many others, these games have kept fans connected with leagues for decades. Now, there's empirical evidence that a league sustains eSports efforts can translate to new fans coming to see a game in person or watch live on TV. The NBA start with younger demos versus many other traditional stick and ball leagues as the league's TV audience has skewed younger for many years now.
The 2K league's efforts to date have convinced monumental sports and entertainment to bring the league to its new District E venue in 2023. The DC spot adjacent to the Wizards Capital One arena will serve as the 2K league's base of operations for the entire season. The NBA team has seen success with Wizards District Gaming, taking home two of the five championships so far.
We'll close on a programming note in this week's Marchand and Ourand Sports Media podcast sponsored by WSC Sports. Andrew and John talk about what Diamond sports group's pending bankruptcy means for professional sports teams, and they dive into the media rights negotiations for both the PAC 12 and NASCAR. The podcast also unveils a new segment this week with Carp's Corner. Our Austin Carp joins the boys to put the NFL's huge championship game TV ratings into perspective. Carp also discusses the NHL'S rating performance heading into the All-Star break with ESPN and TNT showing a 22% drop in viewers compared to last season. You can download the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
That's your SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Friday. I hope everyone has a great day, an even better weekend, and we'll see you back here Monday morning.