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Which Industry is Helping the NFL Make More Money?

The National Football League or NFL is one of the most widely known leagues in the world. As such, the NFL attracts many fans and with it, numerous sponsors that want to promote their brand through the players. While in the past the NFL had tax-exempt status, they gave it up in 2015 in response to criticism for its big revenue. That’s how sponsored this league is!

The NFL is now a trade association made of 32 member teams, out of which 31 are individually owned and one has nonprofit status. Its partnership fees near $2 billion, which is the most you will see in professional sports circles.

When it comes to industries that fund the NFL, there are hundreds of them. However, some stand out because of their record investments, and we’ll discuss them here.


In the last couple of years, the most significant spike in sponsorship agreements with the NFL was with casinos. Now that different forms of gambling are legal in many US states, casinos are starting to invest a lot more in these teams. Sports fans are enjoying this, too. If you are a fan of the NFL today, you can gamble at the best payout online casino Canada and enjoy themed casino games of your choice.

People have shown great interest in casinos because of the flexibility and great perks this offers. The potential online casino payouts can be life-changing, and the online industry is more competitive than ever, therefore offering grand bonuses and special deals to their players. This makes NFL and other leagues the obvious advertising choice for online casinos. They have a similar targeted audience, so advertising their brands on matches and merchandise has tremendous potential for success.

In 2021, DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel became partners with the NFL.

In most cases, these partnerships run up to 7 years. They go around $10 million yearly for the smaller companies, but can go over $200 million per year for the major gambling brands.

The latter include Verizon, one of the companies with the biggest NFL deals. The company paid the NFL over $300 million per year, and they have a 10-year deal with them running from 2021. Still, this doesn’t cover the live streaming of matches or mobile rights of the NFL, so there’s still something for grabs.

Tech Companies

Gambling sponsorships showed the biggest increase in the last 2 seasons, but tech companies are still the biggest investors to this day. Microsoft is at the center when it comes to investments. Their agreement with the Surface tablet alone is worth around $100 million yearly.

TV Deals

In addition to gambling companies and tech brands, the NFL earns tons of money from TGV deals. It is impossible to find out how much exactly the league makes because of its private status, but it’s estimated that this came close to $11.1 billion in 2022, and this doesn’t even start to cover the large new TV deals for this year.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise since, after all, football is the most viewed sport in the US. The Super Bowl is the most viewed TV broadcast not only now, but in US history, too. NFL games are broadcast live on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays during the season in the US, watched by millions of people, and being the highest-rated shows.

This is why media companies dedicate hefty sums to sponsor the teams and get the rights to broadcast them. Right now, the league has TV deals with companies like Amazon, FOX, NBC, ESPN/ABC, all running through the 2033 season. As part of the agreements, these 4 TV broadcasters rotate the rights to the Super Bowl annually, and only Amazon can stream the famous “Thursday Night Football”.

According to Forbes, the NFL signed a $111.8 billion in media rights deal, including the ESPN payment for extending Monday Night Football one more year. This represents an average increase of 82% over all deals that the league had at the moment.

Merchandising/Licensing Deals

The majority of sponsorship money for the NFL comes from the industries we listed above, but third-party companies like Nike, for example, don’t fall short when it comes to investment, either. The company signed a 10-year licensing deal with Fanatics, an online sports retailer, making them the exclusive manufacturer of Nike-branded merchandise which is being sold in the NFL’s official online store.

Such deals don’t come close to the large TV deals or the money that tech companies invest, but they still add a lot to the bulk.

Rentals and Ticketing

Ticket sales remain one of the biggest sources of income for NFL clubs. While the amount of money these generate differs depending on the clubs and the matches in question, the estimated average goes around $151. On average, the capacity of stadiums where the NFL teams play is 70,000 people, which brings a lot of cash to these teams.

Over the years, it’s been discussed that the league is considering to rebuild the stadiums and add more seats and concessions. This is expensive, but such investments usually pay off a lot for popular teams like the NFL. Not to mention, they are renting out the stadiums, so the bigger the capacity, the bigger the potential income for different events.

Let’s also not forget about the returns on foods and beverages sold at games. These often make higher sums than even the cards. If we use the average cost and number of visitors, NFL teams possibly make over $10 million in ticket revenue per game, and this doesn’t even calculate in the revenue from foods and beverages being sold.

Of course, taxes and payments, as well as advertising fees reduce the actual revenue being earned, but that’s where sponsors come into the picture, right?

Wrapping Up

Football is the biggest sport in the major leagues sports in history. There are hardly many countries in the world that don’t compete in this sport on some level. In the US, leagues like the NFL attract the biggest audiences and have millions of fans.

NFL is one of the most successful football pro sports leagues worldwide, so it’s only natural that they attract the attention of sponsor companies with a lot of money. The investments have grown tremendously over the year, reaching their peak these days. We can only expect these numbers to grow and more to join the trend – to invest in the NFL.

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