How Prime Video is marketing to a new Thursday Night Football audience

October 20, 2022 | By Dora Wang, Content Marketing Manager

Thursday Night Football only on prime

With the launch of Thursday Night Football exclusively on Prime Video, our goal is to keep what people love about the broadcast while also reaching new audiences in fresh ways.

Here in Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season, we’re excited about the audience response from the first few games. The first regular-season TNF matchup, Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, averaged 13 million viewers, making it the most-streamed NFL game ever.1

How the TNF audience compares to NFL linear viewers

Through early October, the TNF audience on Amazon has had some key differences from the NFL linear audience:

  • The median age of TNF viewers is 46, eight years younger than the season-to-date 2022 NFL linear viewers’ median age (54 years) and eight years younger than 2021 full-season average age of TNF viewers on Fox and NFL Network full-season average (54 years)2
  • TNF delivers 8% more viewers in the 18­34 age range than NFL linear3
  • TNF viewers watch an average of 90 minutes per game (compared to an average of 63 minutes for Monday Night Football and 73 minutes for Sunday Night Football)4
  • TNF viewers are 34% more likely to shop for brands and products advertised during TNF (compared to viewers of ads on competitive networks during prime-time NFL games in the previous week)5

These numbers indicate an evolving NFL audience that is younger and more engaged compared to linear TV viewers. Tapping into this fan base requires finding a balance: keeping the core of the football experience that NFL fans on linear TV already love, while also finding ways to evolve and elevate live sports for streaming audiences.

Not changing the football—just how you watch it

A few weeks before the 2022 season kickoff, we announced the “Prime ball,” a football with a brand-new shape for TNF. A few NFL quarterbacks—Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos, and Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams—were shown “testing” the new, more oblong ball, commenting on its shape and performance.

Oblong football

Of course, there wasn’t actually a “Prime ball.” We followed up a couple of days later with a new video where our quarterback “test subjects” revealed the fake.

After the reveal, Herbert expressed his actual opinion: “It’s an interesting ball,” he laughed. “Doesn’t fly.”

Justin Herbert with a coach holding a football

Jared Goldsmith, acting Head of Sports Marketing at Prime Video, explained the thinking behind the campaign. “Our ultimate goal was to call attention to the fact that we are not changing the ball or the game you love—we are just changing how you watch,” he said.

Creating the fake announcement was a playful way to address the concerns that fans may have had about TNF moving exclusively to Prime Video. The participation from the quarterbacks added just enough believability that fans would wonder if this was real.

Quarterbacks Russell Wilson holding a footbal in front of camera
Matthew Stafford holding a footbal in front of camera

Hopefully the reveal provided fans with a laugh—and also some reassurance.

“We wanted fans to feel relief that Amazon appreciates their concerns about TNF,” Goldsmith said, “and help them realize that we only want to make the experience better for fans.”

The campaign created plenty of buzz, with over 50 media placements and 38.3 million views across social channels, such as Twitter and TikTok.6 An additional 8.3 million views came from videos by content creators reacting to the campaign and adding to the conversation, helping expand the reach of the campaign and its message for fans.

Providing a new viewing experience

We’re also offering unique ways to experience TNF. As one example, on September 15, we held a kickoff party at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles to watch the matchup between the Chargers and the Chiefs.

kickoff party at the Fonda Theatre

Hundreds of Prime members in attendance watched the game on a larger-than-life screen, which showcased features like X-Ray and Next Gen Stats, powered by AWS, to go even deeper into the action. The experience also featured special guests, including NFL legend Jerry Rice.

NFL legend Jerry Rice
Pinar Toprak, the composer of TNF’s new theme music performing live orchestral

Pinar Toprak, the composer of TNF’s new theme music, also conducted a live orchestral performance of the piece for attendees.

This is definitely a different experience from watching TNF on your television at home. By expanding how fans think of TNF and offering new ways of being entertained and engaged, we aim to maintain a strong connection with this growing and evolving audience.

1 Nielsen National TV Services, Live+Same Day.
2 Nielsen National TV Services. Live+Same Day through 10/13/22.
3 Nielsen National TV Services. Live+Same Day through 10/13/22.
4 Nielsen NPOWER, Live+Same Day. 9/8/22 – 10/10/22.
5 EDO, 9/15/22 - 10/13/22.
6 Amazon internal, 2022, WW.