The NFLPA Rookie Premiere took place last weekend in Los Angeles where more than 40 rookies came together and received a weekend of exposure to what the business of being a professional football player is all about. Over the next few days we will be posting experiences and interviews from the event. Make sure to check back for updates.
Everyone seems to want to get in the content business and that is no different for the NFLPA/NFLPI’s partners. Panini — The official trading card of the NFLPA — and Fanatics — an apparel, memorabilia, and licensing partner — wouldn’t immediately be associated with the content business in fans minds. However, at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere both were heavily involved in creating and curating content to reach fans on an extra level.
Panini’s room was packed with rookies signing cards and memorabilia. Panini has been at the Rookie Premiere for years now and has its operations down to a science, but now they are adding extra access to fans. The company had multiple videos on Facebook Live and they were working with the athletes to expand their brands throughout the weekend. As people become more familiar with the rookies and their personas, Panini can benefit from new fans buying different types of products once fans find a player they connect with.
Fanatics also had content generation as a goal. The e-commerce company had two main rooms, one where still shots were taken of the athletes in their professional and college team’s gear. They also had a video hangout on Facebook Live where some interesting questions were asked of each rookie. Again, this brings out the player’s personality and creates a deeper connection with the fan. “The video hangouts serve multiple purposes. We will actually re-purpose those interviews and place them on player hangout pages we have on Fanatics. The fact we can use the players to build our and their brands’ credibility is unique,” said Ryan Donovan of Fanatics.
The player hangout pages are more than just the player’s gear. They have player info, video interviews, Twitter feeds and Spotify playlists. The fan pages essentially serve as player portals. It becomes a one-stop-shop for player information and commerce. Tyler Lockett’s hangout page is a perfect example.
These are just new ways to engage fans. These companies have found if they really connect with their customers, it is more likely they will come back and be repeat purchasers. Content is king, and now its consistently being used to sell product.