The National Football League is courting a presenting sponsor for postseason games, a package that one person with knowledge of the matter said could fetch up to $15 million a year.
It would be the first time the league has put a company’s name on postseason games. The NFL floated the idea to existing sponsors last month and plans to have a deal in place — with a new or current partner — before the 2019 playoffs, said Renie Anderson, senior vice president for sponsorship and partner management. Anderson declined to comment on the terms.
“We generally like to keep our games clean,” Anderson said. “But having a partner associate with a game, or series of games, can really be mutually beneficial.”
In addition to charging for the privilege, sports leagues get additional promotion from their sponsors, who in turn use the event to draw attention to their product. Major League Baseball last year sold presenting sponsorships for some of its playoff series for the first time, including a deal with YouTube for the World Series.
The NFL’s postseason partnership won’t include presenting rights to the Super Bowl, Anderson said. The league is also considering a presenting sponsor for its popular Thanksgiving Day games.
In spite of lower audience ratings, political protests and a public debate over the commissioner’s salary, America’s richest and most-popular sports league has no shortage of corporate partners.
While Anderson declined to provide figures, marketing analyst ESP Properties estimated the league and its 32 teams brought in a record $1.25 billion in sponsorship revenue in 2016-17.