NFL Rush Campaign Analysis
NFL Rush Campaign Analysis
The National Football League (NFL) began its NFL Rush campaign in 2006 with the launch of the nflrush.com website. The main purpose was to attract children, ages 6 through 14, to the NFL. In 2007, the NFL launched the Play 60 movement as part of the effort. In 2010, the NFL began an animated television series on Nickelodeon called NFL Rush Zone to better reach children. The website, Play 60, and NFL Rush Zone are the three main communication channels through which the NFL gets its message across to its target audience. There is no explicit mission statement for NFL Rush on nflrush.com or on the NFL’s main website. The main audience is children, and they use nflrush.com as a way to connect to Play 60, NFL Rush Zone, and the NFL in general. Other than listing the year that each component began, the website is not structured like a typical campaign website with a mission statement, frequently asked questions section, an “About Us” section, or a section that states clear measurable goals. Despite no clear goal being stated, it is clear that the goal is to attract children to the NFL and foster a relationship between children and the NFL brand. Websites that have NFL news, such as espn.com and nfl.com, are structured for adults and written for an adult audience. However, nflrush.com caters specifically to children with its articles regarding NFL news, and delivering NFL news is not even the main function of the website. The main focuses of the website include connecting users to NFL Rush Zone, allowing users to play games, and connecting users to Play 60 all show that the website is targeting children, including children who live in homes where football is not prevalent and do not have parents that keep track of the NFL. The NFL Rush campaign can reach those children directly though the website, the show, and Play 60 commercials. Ultimately, the goal is to cultivate good attitudes toward the NFL among children. In turn, this will make children’s behavioral intention be one that intends on becoming a consumer of the NFL brand. When the children get older, the goal is to have their behavior reflect that intention as they become heavy consumers of the NFL brand in all its forms, including viewing actual games and purchasing licensed NFL merchandise. This movement from attitudes to behavioral intention to behavior is similar to the marketing escalator concept. Mullin says, “The escalator is a graphic representation of consumer movement to higher levels of involvement” (Mullin, 2007, p. 42). Right now, children would be at the bottom of the escalator as a non-consumer. The NFL Rush campaign can help turn children into indirect consumers by having them consume media, such as the NFL Rush website and NFL Rush Zone television show. By doing this, the NFL hopes children will climb the escalator to become light consumers, then medium consumers, and then, ideally, heavy consumers. By measuring merchandise sales and measuring the number of consumers that moved up the NFL’s marketing escalator, the NFL could develop a measurable goal, but there are not goals explicitly stated on the website. The major message is simply that the NFL is cool. That sounds overly simple, but when children are the target audience, simple is the best way to go. The NFL wants to be popular among children so it will stay popular among those same individuals once they become adults. The television show and website particularly help to demonstrate to children that the NFL is cool. Nickelodeon is widely considered one of the most popular television networks for children’s programming. Placing NFL Rush Zone there was a good decision by the NFL because the show will most likely be seen there by its target audience. In addition, Nickelodeon is already popular with children, so the NFL can further increase its own popularity by associating with it. However, the NFL wants to retain its audience into adulthood,...
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