The NFL draft takes place in Philadelphia this weekend, Thursday April 27th though April 29th. The draft is three days where NFL front offices select eligible college football players to add to their roster. For teams who draft well, it can set them up for future success (see New England Patriots), but for teams who don’t draft well, they can continue to struggle for years to come (see Cleveland Browns). Those three days are clearly important for an NFL franchise, but what does the NFL draft have to do with your marketing strategy?
Consider this, who would have thought that watching NFL executives select college football players would become must watch TV every spring for millions of football fans? It may not sound like riveting TV, but the NFL has found a way to stay in the consciousness of sports fans all year with how they schedule and market their offseason activities. The actual football season starts in September and culminates with the Super Bowl in early February, but that does not mean that the NFL hibernates for the remaining 6.5 months of the year.
The NFL has found a way to extend a 5.5 month season over a full year and remain in the consciousness of sports fans beyond the actual season. Like your business, professional football does not have an offseason. The Super Bowl in early February is followed by the NFL Combine in late February/early March. The combine is the event where teams workout draft prospects to learn more about their skillset. March also marks the start of free agency where teams can sign new players who are no longer under contract. That takes us to April where the NFL releases the schedule for the upcoming season. April is also when the “offseason Super Bowl” takes place – the draft. In May, teams bring in new players and conduct their mini-camp practices. That is followed with training camp during the summer months and exhibition games in August.
What does all of this mean to you and your business? You already know that you don’t have an offseason, but do you continue to stay in front of your customers with fresh, relevant content like the NFL does? Do you continually look for new ways to engage with your customers? Do you know what they are interested in, or do you just pump out the same content that you have always produced? Expanding beyond the actual season has continued to grow demand for the NFL. They listened to their fans, fed their appetite for football and strategically scheduled events to remain in front of their customers all year. A well planned content strategy can do the same for your business. Now you’re on the clock!