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Back in 2013, Peyton and Eli Manning teamed up to promote DirecTV. The NFL quarterbacks and brothers were both active in the league at the time and each had won Super Bowls. They were a hot commodity and the direct broadcast satellite service provider tapped them to promote their service for the upcoming football season. Good call. The video went viral, quickly racking up more than seven million views. Even now, this is a pretty entertaining spot.

Athletes and Advertising

Using an athlete to promote a product or service is a tried-and-true marketing method. The NFL has used their players to promote the league with great success—more on that later. When a recognizable athlete is used in a promotion, fans will buy just about anything they’re selling. From sports equipment to fast food, the influence of athletes is far-reaching. Athletes were some of the earliest influencers with Babe Ruth endorsing Wheaties cereal and MLB players hawking Camel cigarettes. If a business has the money to recruit a professional athlete to appear in ads, they expect to get a return on that investment. And the hope is also that they’ve bet on a player who stays out of trouble because a scandal is bad for business (see Tiger Woods).

NFL Celebrates Season 100

Back to the NFL. The 2019 NFL season is the league’s 100th and they have big things planned. Back in February, a star-studded commercial was released during the Super Bowl to promote the upcoming milestone. It caused an immediate sensation and has 6.6 million views on YouTube. The spot includes a cast of 50 featuring current and former players, officials, broadcasters, and more.

New Season, New Commercials

There’s a lot of hype surrounding any new NFL season, but this one has the additional hoopla of NFL 100 events, initiatives and programs. Before reaching Hard Rock Stadium in Miami this February for the Super Bowl, there’s a lot of football to be played. To get everyone prepped for the kickoff of a new season, the league wanted viewers to know that they’re ready.

NFL Video Scores with Viewers

Did you catch the first game of the NFL season last night? If not, you can catch up with a full roster of match-ups this weekend. During the next few months, pay attention to the plays being made between downs. We’re talking about the commercials, many starring NFL players. Whether people are watching on  phones, tablets, laptops, or an OG TV, video will be used in an attempt to make a connection with viewers. Just like the ad featuring the Manning brothers, advertisers are looking for that perfect combination of star power and story to get your attention.

This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated to include current information and references.

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