How Thursday Night Football’s newest advertisers on Prime Video are making the most of this season

26 September 2022 | By Dora Wang, Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Thursday Night Football stage at the stadium

This season, fans will get to meet the inaugural lineup of sponsors for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video. Carnival Cruise Line, DraftKings, Audible, Little Caesars, and Mercedes-Benz USA are among the latest brands to embrace the opportunities presented by the team-up between Amazon and the NFL.

What makes a Thursday Night Football sponsorship placement exciting for these brands? See what the sponsors and Amazon Ads leaders had to say about how these NFL collaborations came together to help elevate the game for fans and brands.

Enhancing the customer experience

For both Amazon and these sponsors, finding the right way to integrate these brands into TNF was a priority. The goal was to make sure these sponsorships bring value to the experience of the customer – the TNF on Prime Video audience – by enhancing the broadcast.

“One of the questions we asked ourselves was, ‘How do we make sure the addition of our sponsors is a benefit for our viewers?’” said Amy McDevitt, NFL Brand Partnership Lead at Amazon Ads. “We wanted these integrations to be contextually relevant, so fans would understand – and enjoy – what these sponsorships add to TNF.”

Accomplishing this required a thoughtful approach when deciding how to present the sponsoring brands.

“Your commercial does the heavy lifting in terms of expressing your brand messaging,” McDevitt explained. “The integrations should focus on being relevant and feeling like organic additions to the TNF viewing experience.”

Finding the right connection with the brand

For some of these sponsors, the connection between their brand and TNF was obvious.

When we think of tailgate parties and game-day spreads, many of us think of pizza – so Little Caesars is providing fans with an easy way to order their pizza for the game using an on-screen QR code as part of their sponsorship of the TNF Tonight pregame show. And since ordering pizza is a part of many fans’ game-day prep, Little Caesars will also present a segment during the pregame show that highlights how players prepare for game day.

DraftKings, a leader in digital sports entertainment and gaming, will help engage and excite fans as the odds provider for TNF, and will inform the “TNF Predictions” segment during TNF Tonight.

Cruises might not be a typical part of game day, but Carnival Cruise Line is finding a creative approach to making a cruise brand part of football: by having fun. The brand is sponsoring a new Wednesday show from Prime Video and NFL Films, The NFL Pile On, including a weekly segment called “Funderstruck”. Fans can watch this segment to relive the most fun moments from the football week, from touchdown celebrations to fan interactions.

“This combination of America’s favourite sport and America’s favourite cruise line provides us with a unique way to be part of a new production and bring NFL fans longer-form content that embodies the energy of our Choose Fun brand platform,” said Jennifer Austin, Senior Director of Media Strategy at Carnival Cruise Line. “We appreciate how Prime Video created a custom opportunity for us to extend our reach beyond our in-game TNF units in a more dynamic way.”

Audible, which creates premium audio storytelling, is the presenting sponsor of TNF Kickoff, during which TNF talent discusses the match-up and key players to watch. Audible is also the presenting sponsor for Prime Stories, which will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the teams’ preparation for the game.

“We know the power of stories to bring fans together, and we look forward to an incredible season,” said Tom McKenna, Senior Vice President, Global Media and Marketing Operations at Audible.

Engaging viewers in the new era of TNF

The audience for TNF on Prime Video includes viewers who have watched traditional NFL broadcasts on linear TV. In addition, TNF on Prime Video brings in an audience of younger adult, tech-savvy viewers, including cord cutters who watch exclusively on streaming. The evolution of the TNF audience means finding ways to engage newer as well as traditional linear viewers.

One way TNF is achieving this is by combining the expertise of established on-air talent, like Tony Gonzalez and Charissa Thompson, with fresh perspectives from players-turned-analysts like Richard Sherman and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Mercedes-Benz USA is the presenting sponsor of the TNF Halftime Show, including the “Electric Moments” segment that will fuel fan excitement by showcasing game highlights. Their Mercedes-Benz EQS, an all-electric SUV, may generate even more interest from Amazon TNF viewers than traditional linear NFL viewers, given that Millennials and adult Gen Z are the age groups most likely to consider the purchase of an electric vehicle.1

“It’s exciting to be part of the first season of TNF exclusively on Prime Video,” said Drew Slaven, vice president of marketing, Mercedes-Benz USA. “This sponsorship enables us to not just reach the NFL audience; it also presents the opportunity to extend our engagement with fans after the last whistle has blown.”

The best of both worlds

For both Prime Video and the TNF sponsors, one of the most exciting aspects of this new digital broadcast is the chance to find new ways to connect with fans. TNF on Prime Video offers interactive features, alternate feeds, and unique activations.

“For fans, sponsors, and advertisers, TNF on Prime Video is the best of both worlds, combining the NFL experience we all love with the advantages of digital,” said Danielle Carney, head of NFL Sales for Amazon Ads.

Finding ways to connect the TNF sponsors with fans is a key part of making TNF on Prime Video an engaging and relevant broadcast that our customers will love.

1 Statista, April 2021, US