Search
  • Sydney Umeri

Millennials & Social Media: The Key to Increasing NFL Attendance & Engagement

Updated: Jan 17

Introduction

In 1965, according to the Harris Survey, American professional football surpassed baseball as the most popular sport in America. Since then, the interest in what is now known as the NFL has grown tremendously. But with the rise of online streaming and wonderful cable television packages, the NFL needs to stay ahead of what could lead to a steady decline in attendance and possibly engagement.


The main focus of this study is on the millennial demographic and answering the question, “How can the NFL increase millennial attendance and engagement through social media?” This question will be answered by proving why millennials are an important demographic, why social media is the method the NFL should use to market to millennials, and through which social platforms the NFL should focus on marketing directly to them. I will also discuss how using tactics targeted towards millennials can increase engagement and attendance among fans of other demographics as well. Ultimately, by creating a strong foundation of millennial consumers that are invested in the company, their product, and the innovations that come over time, the NFL sets itself up for infinite growth in attendance and engagement in the future.


Background

The National Football League consists of 32 teams, eight divisions, and two conferences. The season lasts for 17 weeks and runs roughly from the week after Labor Day weekend until after Christmas. The NFL’s total attendance over the years is shown in the image below. 

As you can see, last year was the highest attendance the NFL has seen in the past nine years. But with the onset of live streaming and cable TV, as well as the amount of money the NFL is investing in that industry, it is almost inevitable that the NFL’s attendance will take a hit if they do not create a plan of action now.


So how can millennials be the answer to the NFL’s potential attendance and engagement problems? Millennials are the most active demographic when it comes to social media and their online presence. What better way to gain the attention of millennials than to use what holds their attention most, technology and social media? By using social media in a different way and enhancing in-game experiences, the NFL can appeal to the millennial demographic in such a way that makes attending games more worthwhile than watching from home or live streaming it.


Millennials as NFL’s Target Audience & Why

In this study, millennials, or Generation Y, are defined as anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age. While the millennial age range can be defined in many ways, the age range of 18-35 was chosen for this paper because it is the most commonly used range in academic journals. Generally, the millennial generation is defined as having different values, characteristics and behaviors, compared with Generation X,” or any other generations (Gurau, pg. 103). These differences in values are the first sign that millennials should be marketed to differently than other generations, but also begin to tell the story of why they are so valuable.

According to Benjamin Allen, a Production Assistant at the NFL Network, “The target audience of the NFL as a sport is much the same of its media (Network, NOW, and .com). I believe that the most recent target audience has been young adults, namely millennials.” But with that said, he gave no definitive answer for why and in what ways the NFL was working to market to millennials.


In the 2016 Social Media Update conducted by Pew Research, millennials (defined as people between the ages of 18-29) lead each age demographic in the use of all social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Ultimately, millennials are techno-savvy. With that said, it is important that the NFL markets to millennials using their strengths, technology, social media and all things digital.


Outside of millennials being important to move the NFL forward, they also provide the benefit of potentially becoming lifetime customers/fans, increasing game attendees over a long period of time. More importantly, they can increase company equity through brand loyalty over time. So with brand loyalty and the younger consumer in mind, it is crucial that professional teams begin to strategically advertise to their younger consumers.


Current NFL Social Media Following

For this study, the NFL’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook analytics will be analyzed in order to give a general idea of how they use these platforms, and to see where they could improve. According to Benjamin Allen, “Social media has been the strongest form of reaching sports fans in recent years and the NFL has not been shy in entering the space.”

To begin, the NFL’s Instagram account follows 709 accounts and is followed by 9.5M people. On their account they post pictures of their players, former players, breaking news, important quotes, a countdown until the season, videos of impressive plays, and birthday posts to current and former great players. While their page lacks aesthetically pleasing qualities, it is mainly used for getting information and NFL news.


The NFL’s Twitter account follows 2,461 accounts, and has 23.7M followers. On the account, the NFL posts links to articles that can be found on NFL.com, old highlights, NFL news, posts clips of ESPN discussing NFL news, as well as re-tweets content from @NFLhistory and NFL players around the league.

The NFL’s Facebook has just over 15.6M followers and over 16M likes. On this platform, the NFL posts more videos instead of pictures that highlight great moments and plays. They also provide links to articles that can be found on www.nfl.com. Finally, they share videos from different networks such as ESPN and Sports Center of their analysts discussing pressing or interesting NFL topics, such as trades, deadlines, contracts, etc.


With all of this said, the most interesting thing about the NFL’s social media is that it is not strictly limited to the NFL handles. Each team has their own social media accounts and puts out information that directly relates to them. They also have large followings, and while each team has a different way of doing things, they generally give similar information to what the NFL puts out, just on a smaller scale. This includes breaking news, community service, birthday posts, and pictures showcasing their athletes.


From the information above, it is evident that the NFL social media platforms have a large reach as they encompass every team in the league. But because each NFL franchise runs its own social media accounts, it is important that they as well act as an extension of the NFL’s platforms. They’re accounts should reflect any of the changes in style and targeted audience made to NFL’s social media accounts.


Before discussing the changes that need to be made, it is important to review the NFL’s current social media analytical data.


Current NFL Marketing and Suggested Improvements

By now, almost all millennials are online, so it is up to the NFL to include incentives (which will be discussed below) that gain the attention of their audience when creating their posts. According the Pew Research and the Social Media Update 2016, Facebook is the most popular social media platform, and 88% of millennials that are online use Facebook. Also, 59% of millennials that are online use Instagram, as well as 36% of them use Twitter.

But advertising to a group of people who have grown up in the digital age is tough. Not only are they very well versed in understanding the platforms, but they also know what they are looking for in advertisements. “Consumers are more likely to have positive attitudes towards read permission-based mobile advertising, especially if they include incentives,” such as chances to win in-game experiences, tickets, gear, etc. (Koo, 2010).


Given this information, it is important to realize that social media as a whole is important for the NFL to focus on, but Facebook will be the social media platform of choice for the NFL to market and campaign to millennials. This is true despite the NFL’s Facebook only having 15.6M followers compared to Twitter’s 23.7M. Though the NFL does not have the largest following on Facebook, Facebook is the most popular social media platform among millennials as well as other demographics. With an improvement in marketing, the NFL could easily reach more people on Facebook simply because a higher percentage of people, namely millennials, use that platform. Also, the NFL could tap into this audience with or without millennials directly following the NFL on Facebook.

NFL Social Media Analytics

For the sake of this project and the fact that no budget was allotted to purchase a higher quality analytics services, Social Mention was used to retrieve this analytical data.

When getting the analytics from Social Mention, I looked up, “NFL” and specified that I wanted to see the analytics from the past month, June 29th, 2017- July 29th, 2017. The search on Social Mention showed that the strength, likelihood your brand is being discussed on social media, of the NFL was 46%. The NFL also had a 2:1 sentiment, which is the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative. The NFL’s passion, the likelihood that individuals talking about your brand will do so repeatedly, was 7%. Finally, the reach, the measure of the range of influence, was 40%.


To put these numbers in perspective, the NBA’s numbers were 54% strength, 4:1 sentiment, 3% passion and 51% reach. While both leagues are different and had different things going on at the time, for example, the NBA had summer league basketball, a league for newcomers in the NBA to play with their teams, learn plays, and go up against other competition before the season starts. On the other hand, the NFL had nothing going on at the time other than minor trade, injury, and contract reports. Despite these differences, it is important that the NFL finds a way hold the attention of their fans even in the off-season like the NBA does.


With that said, due to not having a higher quality analytics platform to get information from, the information given by Social Mention was insightful but not as helpful as I had hoped. They were not able to breakdown the analytics by age demographic.

Though the ultimate goal is higher attendance among millennials at football games, given the information collected from these analytics and what is known about the NFL and attendance already, the NFL needs to improve their reach and strength online to increase their chances of improving attendance. If the NFL were to use social media campaigns and contests catered to millennials they would have a higher chance of increasing attendance and engagement.


Social Media Campaign to Improve Attendance

As mentioned above, millennials do not respond well when companies explicitly showing that they are advertising to them, so companies must be savvy in the way that they market on these platforms. An example of being savvy on these platforms is for the NFL to combine incentives with consumer engagement. This can be done by encouraging fans to post using a hash tags (consumer engagement) for a chance to win a price (incentive).

Much of this can be done on NFL social media platforms. For example, if fans Tweet or Instagram a picture of them at an NFL game on Sunday using a particular hash tag they have a chance to win free tickets to another regular season games within the same season. This not only increases the chances of people going to the games, but it also, increases social media engagement.


But ultimately it’s not all about incentives. Creating easier access to ticket and purchasing can help too. As mentioned in the article, “Reaching The Millennials: Mobile Marketing Trends And Techniques,” by Anya Pratskevich, creating faster mobile transactions and honing their social media to personalize consumer experiences are great ways to increase millennial engagement and attendance through brand-to-consumer interactions. Just as Starbucks has made it easy for consumers to order, view their menu and merchandise, and keep track of their spending through a mobile wallet, the NFL can do the same. Their digital outlet to do so would be their app, the NFL Mobile App.


NFL Mobile App

On the NFL App, NFL Mobile from Verizon, the NFL gives application users access to all things related to the NFL, from top stories around the NFL, fantasy, the draft, analysis, top plays from the season, and much more. The NFL also provides access to watching games, seeing highlights, and viewing statistics.

Specific features found on the app are NFL Now, which gives you access to all videos pertaining to current NFL information. NFL Game Pass, where people can watch more football by gaining access to live home and away game day audio, 256 regular season games replays, condensed games in about 45 minutes, and this is available across devices through an iTunes subscription of $50. The NFL Shop where fans can buy gear from all NFL franchises, and finally NFL Network. Ultimately, NFL Network is where application users have access to live NFL games given that they have an established TV provider. Here they can also get stats, highlights and replays.

As one can see the NFL makes it incredibly easy for fans and app users to gain access to all things NFL, whether it be news, gear, games, or even game audio. But the NFL App is lacking in two departments. They do not allow users to engage (i.e. comment, like, etc.) on the application, and they do not have a location where application users can buy tickets to upcoming games.

By introducing these two aspects to their mobile app, this would not only increase the engagement on their app, but would also help to attract the millennial demographic. To add, they could also sell their tickets, and run special ticket pricing promotions, giveaways, etc. to bring down the cost of their ticket prices, encourage people to engage and visit the app more often, and overall create an even better user experience then they have provided already.


Cost of Tickets

With the app aside, a lot goes into determining the price of an NFL ticket, whether it is where the seat is located in the arena, when in the season the game is, how many franchise players are playing, where in the country the game is being held, and the average income of the demographic of people closest to the arena. But with all this said, according to Statista’s article, “Average NFL Ticket Price by Team in 2016 (in U.S. Dollars),” the average cost of NFL tickets in 2016 was $92.98.

Before making suggestions as to how and why the NFL should lower their ticket prices, it is important to better understand what goes into consideration when the NFL lists these prices. Reese and Mittlstaedt (2001) “found that ticket prices were based on a certain set of criteria. Those criteria, in order of importance, were: team performance, revenue needs of the organization, public relations issues, toleration of the market regarding price increases, fan identification, and the average league ticket price,” among other things mentioned above (Drayer & Shapiro, 2009). Given this information, “each organization has to consider unique situational factors that may affect the order of importance regarding these criteria” (Drayer & Shapiro, 2009). But despite the extensive criteria the NFL must check through before listing a ticket at a specific price, there are other things to take into consideration.


Another thing that the NFL has to look into is how price impacts demand. At some point, if a price is too high, fans lose interest or are not able to afford the games. That is what has happened with the millennials demographic, as they are the largest demographic of fans the NFL has, but given that millennials make average $35-$40 in salary they do not lead the NFL in attendance. This explains why the age demographic of 55+ years old and people who make between $75-$100 thousand are the highest demographics to attend games.


So as one can see, there are many things that go into determining the price of NFL tickets. Many of these factors have played a big role in the decline of millennial attendance at games and attendance across the board. But despite ticket prices being high and possibly out of budget for most millennials, there is something else to take into consideration when accounting for the decline in attendance, live streaming.


Live Streaming

While cost of attendance may be an issue for some, others believe that online streaming is to blame for the lack of millennial attendance at games. “Due to the recent growth in technology in the past decade, sports have taken a hit in their yearly attendances and the NFL, while being a huge contender and having the top total earnings for all professional sports leagues in the United States, is no exception” (White, 2017). Why attend a game when the best seat in the house is at your house? With multiple angles, live updates, the ability to flip between games, readily available access to Wi-Fi, decently priced food and beverages, and the comfort of your own couch, why would you pay to experience less?

Thanks to live streaming, fans don’t even have to be home to watch the game, they can watch on the go. “You can now be anywhere with Internet connection and watch a game at any time that you want after it has happened or you can also watch it live! The convenience of not even having to leave the comfort of your own home or take off time from work is playing a huge factor in the drop in attendance” (White, 2017).


Many would say that the league did it to itself. “They created these multimedia packages and allowed its constituents to be able to access their content online with the NFL Mobile Network. So by them trying to branch out and gain more fans, they have also hurt themselves at home with fan attendance” (White, 2017).


But with that said is the NFL really losing? “More NFL fan attendance overall, sure. But it also starts with the fact that television is what is most important to the league, at least as far as revenue is concerned. Taking into account the $102.5 million each team received from its national TV deals last year, the presentation of games on television more than doubles the revenue of ticket sales” (Rovell, 2012). It is also important to take into consideration that just because NFL fans do not attend games does not mean they are not engaged. For example, as long as they are watching the games, interacting on NFL social media platforms, and discussing NFL topics, that qualifies as engagement, which is also what the NFL wants.

So while the sentiments shared by many of driving to the stadium, tailgating, and cheering on their favorite team in person seems to be far less popular than it was in the past, ultimately, the NFL isn’t losing in the long run. But despite TV being where the money is, having fans in the stands is just as important. According to Ty Schalter from Bleacher Report, “Crowd noise can impact NFL games in a real, physical way. Moreover, the energy of the crowd can disrupt the visiting team and psychologically pump up—or deflate—the home team” (Schalter, 3013). Ultimately, it’s hard to play in front of a half empty stadium. The idea of crowd momentum and home field advantage becomes irrelevant without fans in the seats.

“Current television contracts with the likes of CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV add up to $3 billion a year… There's the yellow line, high definition and better technology all the time that is getting cheaper to purchase” (Rovell, par. 11). So how has the NFL attempted to compete with itself?


“One of the first things teams have jumped at to improve the in-game experience is connecting their stadiums with Wi-Fi, an expensive undertaking. Connecting a stadium so that at least 40 percent of fans can be on a network at the same time costs up to $10 million” (Rovell, par 19).


This is a great start. In the 21st century, it’s not just about being at the event, it’s about documenting, and more importantly, doing so while you are there. Having strong Wi-Fi connections at all stadiums is a step in the right direction, because by allowing fans to document their timelines on social media, and even get other updates while they are at the game, they begin to get the full value of their pricy ticket.


Something else that can be done is adding other entertainment factors that make people want to share their in-game experience via social media. With that said, by sharing their experiences on those platforms, it will encourage other millennials to seek these same experiences as well in hopes to gain status and simply have a good time.


In-Game Experience

To increase attendance and possible engagement, the NFL should provide game day experiences to a small percentage of randomly selected ticket holders for each game. This will included, getting the opportunity to tour the locker room, watch the game from the home team’s sideline, and take a picture with their favorite player. Though this is not awarded to everyone, it will increase the chances of millennials wanting to attend games because of the probability that they will be chosen and the experiences, especially if documented on social media (i.e. the picture with their favorite athlete could go on Instagram, they could Tweet about the experience, and possibly Snapchat it as well) will make the in-game experience more worth their time than watching via live stream. This is true because these experiences could give millennials status, or some compelling information to share, which is ultimately what millennials look for when posting on social media.

To add, the NFL can also host different giveaways providing gear and other bigger prizes, in-game experiences, and much more at the beginning of the game and between every quarter. Since NFL stadiums can hold thousands of people, I think it would be best if a person from each section would win, or a percentage of the guests in attendance (possibly just 1%) would win so that even if a fan’s seats were not great, they still had a chance to win something. I mention this because oftentimes, only fans with lower level seats have the opportunity for bonus items such as gear and other incentives.


This not only ups the ante for the number of people who can win, but it also makes the attendees feel like they have a greater chance of winning by attending. By increasing the number of winners, the NFL also increases the possibility of people, millennials, in attendance.


What the NFL Milestones

College Fan Culture - How It Can Be Replicated In The NFL

What sets college football apart is the fan culture? It is unlike any other. With the history, the ties to the institution and much more, it is no surprise why there is so much support and fandom backing the schools biggest revenue sport, football. I conducted case studies on Texas A&M and Notre Dame to figure out what drives their fan culture around football and to see how the NFL can replicate that.


Case Study - Texas A&M

Texas A&M University is public university based in College Station, Texas, but often referred to as Aggieland. A former all boys school, Texas A&M is home to one of the largest and co-ed student bodies in America. With a strong military tradition, much of Texas A&M’s identity is wrapped up in serving our country. While that is the school’s identity, it is also reflected at sporting events, particularly at football games through their fans and student body, but mainly through the Corps of Cadets.


“The organic components of Aggieland are witnessed most prominently in the Corps of Cadets” (Laverie, 2000). Often people will find Corps of Cadets wearing khaki uniforms around campus and at football games, yelling, screaming, and cheering on their team. They are the ultimate fan and add a lot to the culture of Texas A&M football. “Corps members are considered the “keepers of tradition” at Texas A&M, meaning that many of the old customs and parlance of the military academy that A&M used to be remains alive among the Cadets. This is most evident in the football pre-game walkout where the Corps of Cadets perform a military demonstration and then a few drummers in the band, also Corps of Cadets, precede the team as they walk out.


Ultimately, the Cadets are so important to the school and fan culture at football games because they are able to merge the two. Both the military history and the Corps of Cadets’ passion for college football become visible at games. They play such a big role that the Corps of Cadets are usually the most notable and prominent figures recognized by people outside of Texas A&M University and their fan base.

Case Study - Notre Dame 118

On the other hand, there is Notre Dame that has a completely different type of fan culture and tradition. “Notre Dame is [sic] arguably one of the most iconic brands in all of college football. Indeed, from the invention of the forward pass by former coach Knute Rockne, a strategy which would revolutionize the game of football and turn Notre Dame into a national power in the sport over Ivy League schools such as Yale, to the Hepsburgh Library’s Word of Life mural, which is affectionately referred to as “Touchdown Jesus”, football is ingrained into the culture of at Notre Dame.” (Laverie, 2000).

With so much history connected to Notre Dame football and its national recognition, still much of the school’s identity is found in its Catholic and outsider (immigrant) roots. Notre Dame continues to live out the narrative of being different on-and-off the field as the school most identifies with the phrase, “The Fighting Irish”.


This phrase stands true not only because of Notre Dame’s beliefs are based around non-secular ideals, but on the field, “despite being denied the opportunity to form athletic alliances with neighboring land grant institutions such as Michigan or Purdue, Notre Dame thrived, particularly in football where head coach Knute Rockne crafted some of the most dominant teams in the history of the sport. This lack of acceptance by the Western Conference eventually became a part of the Notre Dame identity, as the football team...” hence The Fighting Irish (Laverie, 2000). To this day, Notre Dame football is not a complete member of any athletic conference, which is a major source of pride for many Fighting Irish fans who believe that it demonstrates their ability to avoid the toxic secular interests of other universities.


With that said, unlike the Texas A&M Aggies Corps of Cadets, there is not one aspect of the team, school, or in-game experience that speaks to Notre Dame’s fan culture. Instead, it is the narrative of being different, being the outsider, and performing at the highest level anyway that creates great support and a large following for the Notre Dame football team. “Despite being a private school in a small town in Indiana, the Irish sold out every game at Notre Dame Stadium (80,795)...” (College Spun, 2016). Knowing that they gain minimal support for others due to being so different, the fan base takes pride in supporting their team because they have embraced being the outlier. The 1964, 34-7 Notre Dame victory over Michigan State, “marked the first of nearly 50 [home] sellouts in succession at Notre Dame Stadium… it’s now 250 and counting” (Heisler, 2016).

How to Build Fan Culture in the NFL

So how can the NFL begin to build a culture similar to the ones found in college football? Despite there not being an academic institution, strong religious ties, centered on a millennial focused demographic, or even ties to armed forces, it is important that the NFL truly invests in the stories of each team and the cities that they come from. By bringing light to unique stories of the city that are associated or can be associated with the team, I believe it creates a larger reason for the community to get involved and take interest in the NFL games. For example, the New Orleans Saints, rallied behind their city in support after hurricane Katrina hit, and since then their fan support has only gotten better. This is partly due to the effort that the team made to rebuild New Orleans, but also because they became the team and organization that the city wanted to rally around during that time. It became more than just football at the moment, but gave people something to believe in and also take their mind off of the devastating natural disaster that hit their area.


In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans. It devastated the whole city leaving everyone to re-build. The New Orleans Saints were no different. The Hurricane took down their dome, their home field, and left them without a place to play in the city. With everyone one the same level playing field of having to start over, they began to do just that. The Saints became a vision of hope for everyone to rally around. As the organization and the players helped the community to rebuild, the community began to support them even more than they had in the past.


While the season in 2005 ended with a 3-13 record, as the city started to re-build so did they. The next season, in 2006, the Saints went 10-6. A big part of their wins stemmed from their fans and the support they got. For the first time in a year, the Saints could play in front of their home crowd at the Louisiana Superdome. Due to this and much of the hard work that the players had put in, the Saints were able to reach the NFC Championship Game, something that would not have been imagined after the prior season.


Damage due to Hurricane Katrina.


New Dome in New Orleans post-Katrina clean up.


By reaching last season's NFC title game, the Saints seemed to track a redemption narrative parallel to the city's… the Saints are now so prosperous beyond the field seems to beg for an even more fantastical explanation. Despite New Orleans's size (the smallest market with two major pro teams), median household income ($27,355 a year before Katrina) and dearth of Fortune 500 businesses (the city has one, Entergy), the team has sold out all 137 suites and 68,000 season seats for this fall while sitting on a waiting list of more than 30,000” (Wolff, 2007).


So with that said, the Saints organization and the NFL were able to use a narrative that not only affected the team, but the community to drive sales and support for the Saints franchise. Though every team and city has not faced a natural disaster, New Orleans is simply an example. It is up to each team to find a narrative that resonates with the city and the organization, and allows fans to get behind them in support. While these suggestions are not catered specifically to millennials, it is a tactic that will increase fan attendance and engagement across many platforms and among all demographics, including millennials.


Getting Players Involved with Fan Engagement

Finally, the NFL can prompt players to get involved and generate a better fan culture among potential millennial fans, as well as other demographics. “One of the biggest issues the league has faced is putting a face to its players. Being one of the few sports that has their players "masked" in helmets, has often hurt the reliability for the common fan who wants to see their star quarterback's face,” said Benjamin Allen, a Production Assistant for the NFL Network. Just as the New Orleans Saints had players get involved with organizations that they loved while rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, this also gave the community an opportunity to see the men behind the masks and put faces to the names they heard every Sunday. Other NFL teams can push their athletes to do the same. Many NFL athletes will often host camps in their hometown to give back to that community. But for many their hometown is not in the city that they play in.


To see a major impact in attendance over all, and in millennial attendance, players should host camps in their team’s city, and attend workshops where they are able to share their story, stand up for something they love and believe in, etc. This will not only make them seem more human in the eyes of fans/potential fans, but it gives those fans an opportunity to make a lasting memory with these athletes. These exchanges with the athletes may compel many potential fans to attend an NFL game or more to support the athlete they were able to meet and make a connection with, as well as their team.


 This is particularly important for millennials, because they want to feel connected to the team and its players. The best way to make this happen is to get the athletes out into the spaces where their fans are and have them create bonds, relationships, and memories that could cause these individuals to become fans of the athlete, and in turn, show support for them and their team.


Conclusion

Despite the NFL having the highest recorded attendance across the league for the last nine years in 2016, it is likely that attendance will drop in the coming years due to live streaming. With that said, it is important the NFL devise a plan to combat falling engagement and attendance before it happens.


While there are many ways for the NFL to increase attendance over all, first they should focus on gaining the attention of millennials through social media marketing, advertising, campaigns and incentives because they are their largest fan demographic and are also the age demographic that uses social media the most.


After that, they should look to enhance the in-game experience through providing on the field opportunities and meet-and-greets with players. This would not only help to get the attention of millennials and make NFL games a coveted entertainment experience, but it would also get the attention of fans from all demographics.


From there the NFL can begin to build a college football-like fan culture around each team. Using narratives specific to each team to improve their fan bases. Finally, the NFL can encourage their players to get out into the community and give the fans a reason to come out and support them through the personal connections they make.


Ultimately, while this paper is a guide for how to increase millennial attendance and engagement, many of these tactics can also be used to increase engagement and attendance for all demographics across the board.


The opportunity for higher fan attendance and more engagement is possible for every demographic, but again, to begin, the NFL will see the most success by simply changing their social media marketing strategy to cater to millennials. From there other changes can be made to increase engagement and attendance for all fans.



References

Allen, Benjamin, NFL Network Production Assistant

All products require an annual contract. Prices do not include sales tax (New York residents only). (n.d.). Average NFL ticket price 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/193595/average-ticket-price-in-the-nfl-by-team/


Am, P. 0. (2015, October 01). How Millennials use and control social media.Retrieved July 23, 2017, from

https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/millennials-social-media/


Chamlee‐Wright, E., & Storr, V. H. (2009). “There's no place like New Orleans”: Sense of place and community recovery in the Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Urban Affairs, 31(5), 615-634.


Chu, S. C., & Kim, Y. (2011). Determinants of consumer engagement in electronic

word- of-mouth (eWOM) in social networking sites. International Journal of Advertising, 30, 47–75. Retrieved from http://www.warc.com 


Drayer, J., & Shapiro, S. L. (2009). Value determination in the secondary ticket market: A quantitative analysis of the NFL playoffs.


Edelman, D. C. (2010). Branding in the digital age. Harvard business review, 88(12),62-69.


Gilfoil, D. M., & Jobs, C. (2012). Return on investment for social media: A proposedframework for understanding, implementing, and measuring the return.


Journal of Business & Economics Research (JBER), 10, 637–650. Retrieved from http://journals.cluteonline.com 


Goodrich, K. (2013). Effects of age and time of day on internet advertising outcomes.Journal of Marketing Communications, 19, 229–244. 


Koo, W. (2010). Generation Y attitudes toward mobile advertising: Impacts ofmodality and culture (Order No. 1487269). Available from ABI/INFORM Collection; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (818327520). Retrieved romhttp://search.proquest.com.www2.lib.ku.edu/docview/818327520?ac ountid=14556


Laverie, D. A., & Arnett, D. B. (2000). Factors affecting fan attendance: The influence of identity salience and satisfaction. Journal of leisure Research, 32(2), 225.


Mondello, P. R. M. (2004). Analysis of the NBA, NFL, NHL, and Major League Baseball. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 13, 104-112.


Moosylvania; study refutes myths about millennials and reveals the motivations behind their brand loyalty and buying power. (2014). Marketing WeeklyNews, , 218. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.www2.lib.ku.edu/docview/1514340806?accoutid=14556


Pratskevich, A. (2017, June 19). Reaching The Millennials: Mobile Marketing Trends And Techniques. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2017/06/mobile-marketing-experiences-millennial/


Reese, J. T., & Mittelstaedt, R. D. (2001). An Exploratory Study of the Criteria Used to Establish NFL Ticket Prices. Sport Marketing Quarterly, 10(4).


Rovell, D. (2012, November 16). Best seat in the house. Retrieved July 23, 2017, from http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8636927/nfl-taking-note-many-fans-watching-games-tv-beats-going-stadiums


Schalter, T. (2017, April 12). How Do NFL Fans Really Affect Games? Retrieved July 30, 2017, from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1885183-how-does-the-12th-man-really-affect-nfl-games


Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). NFL History Timeline of Important Dates. Retrieved July 18, 2017, from http://www.shmoop.com/nfl-history/timeline.html

Social Media Fact Sheet. (2017, January 12). Retrieved July 23, 2017, from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/


Stafford, M. R. (1997). Age-related cues in retail services advertising: Their effect son younger consumers. Journal of Retailing, 73(2), 211-233.


Tingley, C. (2015). Social Media Marketing Strategies to Engage Generation Y Consumers.

The 16 Most Powerful Fan Bases In College Football. (2016, February 18). Retrieved July 30, 2017, from http://thespun.com/national/the-16-most-powerful-fan-bases-in-college-football/16


White, P. D. (2016, November 19). Why Has NFL Attendance Declined by Over 2 Million Fans in the Last 36 Months? Retrieved July 23, 2017, from https://businesssideofsports.com/2015/08/03/why-has-nfl-attendance-declined-by-over-2-million-fans-in-the-last-36-months/


Wolff, A., & Moscatello, C. (2007). Two Years After Katrina. Sports Illustrated, 107(8), 80-90.

2 views

© 2020 by Sydney Umeri LLC.