NFL Audience Segments Available in BDEX’s Taxonomy

Each year, the National Football League (NFL) dazzles audiences in the U.S and around the world with some of the most entertaining and engaging sports events of the year. Football is the most popular sport in the United States according to Gallup, and has been the favorite sport among Americans since 1972. 

The NFL is the premier football league in the world with just over half (51%) of people in the United States claiming to be fans of the league. In 2022, the NFL accounted for 88 of the 100 most-viewed TV broadcasts, according to AdAge. Additionally, NFL Sunday Night Football was the top TV program in the U.S. by viewership last year, and projections for this upcoming football season show no sign of slowing down. With increases in viewership due to legalized gambling in more than 35 states in the U.S., the NFL is one of the biggest generators of ad revenue that exists in our modern economy.

It’s generally understood that the Super Bowl is one of the largest advertising events of the year each year, however, the NFL regular season and playoffs also generate a staggering quantity of viewers comprised of diverse populations of consumer audiences. In 2023, regular season Sunday Night Football audiences averaged over 18 million viewers  every Sunday according to Statista. Additionally, with new scheduling of games streamed through Amazon Prime on Thursday nights, Thursday Night Football (TNF) is generating on average 11.26 million viewers.

All of this goes to say that the NFL generates a plethora of attention across a wide range of audiences from September through January that advertisers can capitalize on. Below we will explore how programmatic advertisers can use the BDEX taxonomy to target NFL audiences to help drive impactful results for their campaigns.

Who are NFL fans?

As mentioned, NFL fans are broad-reaching and cannot be acutely defined. With 32 teams spread across the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., avid NFL fans cut across a variety of demographics. According to research, 56% of women in the U.S. are either avid or casual NFL fans, while 76% of men claim to be avid or casual fans. 62% of African-American adults and 51% of white adults claim to be NFL fans, and the NFL cites that more than 31 million Latinos in the U.S. are NFL fans.

Knowing that NFL audiences are so diverse, it should come as no surprise that the ways fans watch the NFL are equally diverse. 66% of viewers ages 18 and up watch NFL games in restaurants or bars, and 53% report watching at someone else’s home. Moreover, nearly 39% of viewers now primarily watch sports via ad-supported CTV platforms or social media, now matching the percentage (39%) who still watch sports on cable. 

Another factor that has significantly grown NFL fandom in recent years is the advent of legalized gambling in a number of states. Currently, 24% of Americans aged 18 and over participate in sports betting, and 20% of Americans aged 18+ participate in fantasy sports according to the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Assocation (FSGA). Among NFL viewers who gamble, 66% of them are male, and 69% of them are employed full-time and make more than $40,000 per year. 

NFL Segments Available in BDEX’s Taxonomy

For programmatic advertisers aiming to engage audiences of NFL fans, there are a number of segments in BDEX’s taxonomy that can be of use. For example, as shown below, BDEX’s taxonomy contains audiences of viewers who frequently watch the NFL via TiVo – a CTV platform that provides advertisers unique placement opportunities not available on cable. These audiences not only include NFL regular season viewers, but also viewers of the Super Bowl specifically.

Programmatic advertisers can also target and tailor their campaigns to audiences who frequently browse the web for content related to the NFL. As shown below, audience segments can be purchased for individuals who have visited in the last 30 days to 6 months, making it possible to target both avid and casual fans.

Segments are also available for NFL fans who attend regular season games, or considered themselves “very interested” in the NFL within the last 12 months.

Additionally, for advertisers selling merchandise related to NFL teams or football in general, they have the ability to target audiences who have bought licensed NFL clothing in the last 12 months. These audiences have a proven track record of purchasing NFL gear, suggesting they are likely to do so again.

To browse through BDEX’s full list of NFL segments and improve your ad performance, explore the BDEX Taxonomy here.