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NFL X TikTok: A Partnership Designed To Inspire Younger Audiences

September 10, 2019 Sarah Cavill


TikTok, with 500 million monthly active users worldwide and more than a billion downloads, is quickly becoming a go-to app for marketers looking to reach younger audiences. The NFL is the latest TikTok strategic partner, with plans by the NFL to work with additional brands, launch fun and fresh content and increase its social media presence that already includes relationships with Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook. The TikTok partnership is the most recent innovation by the NFL, which has been building marketing strategies around the Super Bowl and the NFL’s 100th season.

“We've seen this fast growth across football content and broadly with sport content on TikTok,” said a TikTok spokeswoman. “Partnering with leagues like NFL gives the global TikTok community a peek inside a world they might not see every day, and we're looking forward to working closely with them and seeing the exciting content and experience they bring to the platform.”

NFL X TikTok Partnership Will Include Hashtag Campaigns And Brand Partnerships

The NFL x TikTok partnership kicked off at Soldier Field on September 5th, celebrating the NFL’s 100th season. The event offered TikTok users an occasion to create unique TikTok videos using the #WeReady hashtag, while mingling with TikTok creators and NFL clubs.

“Hashtag challenges” are common on TikTok, and the NFL plans to implement them throughout the partnership, encouraging TikTok users full of NFL team spirit to take to the app and share that excitement — and content. The NFL hashtag challenges also offer branding opportunities with partner advertisers. The hashtag campaigns are in addition to behind-the-scenes footage, game highlights and sideline-insights the NFL is creating for TikTok.

“Partnering with TikTok is a natural extension of our media strategy,” said Blake Stuchin, Vice President, Digital Media Business Development, NFL. “The platform reaches a fast-growing global audience of NFL fans and future fans. The NFL programming and hashtag challenges are a perfect way to kick off the NFL's 100th season — with fun, new content that will entertain fans and invites them to celebrate and experience their NFL fandom in a way that's authentic to the unique experience of TikTok.”

NFL Courting Younger Audiences With TikTok Mobile Videos


Gen Z doesn’t typically watch sports on TV, with only 41% tuning in compared to 75% of Baby Boomers. And, unlike older sports fans, younger fans prefer the NBA and Major League Soccer, which is part of the reason for the NFL x TikTok partnership (most of TikTok’s users are ages 16-24). At the time of the announced partnership, the new NFL channel on TikTok already had 278,000 followers and 3.3 million likes.

“We're thrilled to partner with a powerhouse in the sports industry like the NFL to bring new life and a fresh perspective to the sports entertainment experience,” said Mayan Scharf, Chief of Staff for Corporate Global Strategic Partnerships at TikTok. “TikTok is a destination where fans can feel like they are a part of the team, and we look forward to showcasing content from the NFL that is exciting, authentic and surprising to the TikTok community.”

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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