With NFL ratings up last season, a strong Super Bowl, and a period of unusually active free agent signings and trades leading up to and during the draft, viewership of the draft event is expected to rise this year, according to The Marketing Arm, an agency with heritage as a sports marketer. Las Vegas officials are expecting record attendance for the Draft, with the in-person gathering providing prime experiential marketing opportunities for sponsors.
Interest from TV advertisers is also high, according to Disney, parent of ABC and ESPN. Nearly 100 brands will participate in its coverage of the event this year, including 13 official sponsors, and 30 new advertisers, representing 45 categories overall.
“We’re always impressed by the sponsorship turnout for the NFL Draft and this year is no different,” Jim Minnich, senior VP, revenue and yield management for Disney Advertising, said in a statement.
Sponsors include Courtyard by Marriott; Chevrolet; EGO, a first time NFL Live presenting sponsor; Home Depot; and ZipRecruiter.
Primetime viewers for the event’s first two days will have five options—with five teams of commentators and analysts—with nearly all the presentations available on the ESPN app. For the draft’s final day, ESPN’s TV presentation will be simulcast on ABC, while ESPN’s social show—available on the ESPN App, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—and ESPN Radio’s offering will feature a hybrid broadcast, available on both radio and the social platforms.