The rise of the NFL Draft as the next NFL brand juggernaut

The rise of the NFL Draft as the next NFL brand juggernaut

Written By: Steve Knipstein

It’s already started. The speculations around which star collegiate will land on a favorite NFL team roster or in everyone’s fantasy draft pool. The news and buzz around the NFL Draft in Nashville is punctuated even louder by the growing popularity of its fan fest and chances to see the next stars of the game up-close.

But, five years ago, when the league announced a new-style draft experience in Chicago, the news and fans were more skeptical about the impact and the access they would receive. KemperLesnik was honored to work alongside the NFL events team to change that narrative and focus on the experience that is the event’s hallmark to this day.

The Playbook

  • MANAGING THE MESSAGE: The team worked to shift the discussion towards an understanding of how the new draft provided a free fan experience unlike anything outside the Super Bowl.
  • REGIONAL EXCITEMENT: Marketing the event to NFL cities within driving distance of Chicago made the event a destination for fans – who came in droves with all 32 team jerseys counted as represented at the fan fest in the first 30 minutes of opening.
  • UPCLOSE AND PERSONAL: Special fan moments to interact with players and legends from the blue carpet to the Draft Town brought fans closer to the action than ever before.
  • POSITIONING THE BRAND: Great care was given in all earned media to deliver on the core messages of quality experience and celebration of football for the fans. Thru the discipline and repetition of storytelling, the brand began to rise as the new moment for fans outside the season calendar.