Prime Video has an entirely new slate of sponsors for “Thursday Night Football,” including one unlikely partner—JCPenney.
The retailer is presenting sponsor of the postgame show beginning with tonight’s Vikings-Eagles game, which kicks off the second season of Amazon’s NFL slate after the streamer gained exclusive rights to the game last year. It marks a new push into sports marketing for JCPenney, which had previously been associated with entertainment offerings such as the Oscars. The retailer also has new ad deals with Apple TV and Fox for Major League Soccer games.
The rest of Prime’s “TNF” sponsor lineup includes more traditional sports sponsors: Verizon and Subway are sponsoring pregame shows, State Farm has the halftime sponsorship and Allstate is backing the “TNF Nightcap” show. The brand slate marks a complete turnover from last season, when Little Caesars, DraftKings, Mercedes-Benz USA and Carnival Cruise Line held sponsorships. DraftKings and Carnival are still investing in the game with ad buys, according to an Amazon representative.
For sports programming, “100% [sponsor] turnover is pretty unusual, usually there are some holdovers,” said Jim Andrews, a sponsorship expert and CEO of A-Mark Partnership Strategies. He suggested that Amazon’s 2022 sponsorship approach might have been more of a trial run in its inaugural season, and now that it is in year two of its NFL deal it has gone out with a “revamped partnership package” that is potentially more expensive.