How Brands Capitalize on One of the NFL’s Biggest Nights

By: Russ Wilde, @RussWildeJr

We are all familiar with the expression “timing is everything.” This premise holds especially true for brands when implementing influencer marketing strategies to promote their products.

The NFL Draft provides an immense exposure opportunity for brands looking to activate influencers with largely untapped commercial portfolios. Due to the fact that NCAA athletes cannot be paid to promote products, the Draft provides marketers with a fresh crop of potential endorsers.

While Tide’s #OurColors campaign flooded Twitter feeds during the draft, many top brands activated on social media in the hours leading up to Thursday’s telecast. Today, we take a look at how the Top 5 players selected in the draft integrated partnerships into their social feeds on Thursday.

Thank you to the @redbull family for taking care of me & my dudes! #wings

Number one pick Jared Goff posted three tweets and one Instagram photo with brand mentions throughout the day. Goff led the field of NFL newcomers in total brand mentions in owned posts with 6.

JCPenny worked with Carson Wentz in conjunction with FOX Reporter Jay Glazer and former New York Giants legend Michael Strahan. Ezekiel Elliot also makes an appearance in the collaboration, but did not post on behalf of JCP. Last June, JCPenny outfitted Frank Kaminsky prior to the NBA Draft in a similar campaign.

Outside of his major endorser METRx, Joey Bosa stayed away from any promotion posts Thursday. His college teammates Cardale Jones and Darron Lee shared the news of Bosa’s latest endorsement with multiple paid posts. Bosa, Jones, and Lee are all represented by CAA.

Former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliot was the second most active draftee on behalf of brands Thursday. Elliot posted on behalf of Old Spice, FedEx, Quest Nutrition, and RTed content from his endorser Nike.

Jalen Ramsey did not post on behalf of any companies, but he did RT content from Bose and Speedstick, who he worked with leading up to the draft. Ramsey also signed an endorsement deal with Jordan.