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Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl Report

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Updated: Jul 15th, 2021

Cover Letter

Introduction of Sponsor (Emirates Airline) and Rights Holder (National Football League – NFL)

Founded in 1920, the National Football League (NFL) was initially known as the American Professional Football Federation. However, after merging with the American Football Federation, it adopted its current name – NFL (Klein, 2014). Today, the league is one of America’s most celebrated sporting events. It is comprised of 32 teams, which play for two leagues: the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference (Creamer, 2018).

The NFL often undertakes a regular sporting league that spreads across 17 weeks of play (McAtee, 2018). About 16 games are played within this period and the first four teams from the National Football and American Football Conferences make it to the playoffs. These winners take part in a single-elimination game, which culminates in one of the most iconic football events in America – the Super Bowl (Bonsor, 2019). The first Super Bowl was held in 1966 and it has attracted huge national and global audiences since then (Bonsor, 2019).

Emirates Airline is one of the Middle East’s most successful airlines. Based in Dubai, the company is owned by the UAE government (Emirates Media Center, 2019). Emirates Airline is the largest and most successful Middle East Carrier. It operates about 3,600 flights per week (The Emirates Group, 2017) and travels to more than 40 destinations around the world (Center for Aviation, 2019). Like other airlines in its category, Emirates offers its customers an array of services that include cabin catering, in-flight entertainment, ground services, lounges, and chauffeur services (Emirates Media Center, 2019). As part of a strategic plan to improve the profile of the NFL for businesses and customers, this strategic plan is designed to allow Emirates Airline to make cost-effective campaigns during the 2020 Super Bowl event.

Identification of Strategic Objectives and Fit

Emirates Airlines and the NFL are two separate organizations, with different goals and visions. Emirates Airline strives to increase its service networks across several markets in the world (Emirates Media Center, 2019), while the NFL aims to unite people and inspire communities through American football. The sponsorship opening with the NFL presents an opportunity for Emirates Airline to advance its corporate goals by expanding the company’s outreach to a broader global audience because the Super Bowl has a wide outreach that cuts across several countries around the world (Page, 2014). Therefore, the 2020 Super Bowl sponsorship opening creates an opportunity for the airline to increase its brand awareness in foreign markets.

The NFL’s sponsorship for Emirates Airline is also an important part of the company’s marketing strategy because it provides a platform to connect with existing passengers and create a rapport with potential clients. Such opportunities would also aid in sharing and supporting the interests of the airline’s passengers and build a close relationship with them. Football is also an inherently strong part of Emirates brand portfolio, as seen through the company’s past sponsorships programs with European Football Clubs (The Emirates Group, 2019). Therefore, through the acquisition of sponsorship rights from some of the most prominent European-based football clubs in the world, Emirates Airline has been synonymously associated with sports (The Emirates Group, 2019).

NFL could benefit from the positive brand image that Emirates Airline has built over the years and leverage its potential to make similar agreements that are valuable to the league. The NFL has also established itself as a community-based organization and can leverage Emirate’s sponsorship opportunity to address its audience’s travel problems. Therefore, it will be providing a platform for the advancement of community objectives. This strategy complements its corporate social responsibility goals, which are predicated on using sponsorship opportunities to advance American Football in the US and around the world.

Sponsorship Plan

Overview and Event details

Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in America. It occurs when the champions of the National Football Conference compete with the winners of the American Football Conference (Creamer, 2018) in a televised event that is arguably the most-watched televised game in the US (Biagi, 2014). The event often occurs as a culmination of the American Football League that happens in the summer of every year. The Super Bowl is one of the most popular sporting events in the world because it has one of the highest possible attendances for a mainstream sporting event (Bonsor, 2019). In addition, based on the national and global interests that the Super Bowl has created, its advertisements are among the most lucrative in the world (Statista, 2019).

Event Date and Event Location

Super Bowl is often held in the first week of February (usually Sundays) and it involves the winners of the National and American Football Conferences. In fact, between 1967 and 2003, only one Super Bowl event did not happen in February (Bonsor, 2019). The location of each Super Bowl event often changes every year. However, the choice of the venue is determined years in advance and NFL owners usually make the choice. The 2020 Super Bowl event will happen in the first week of February of the same year in South Florida, Miami.

Profile of the Attendees (Audience)

As highlighted in this document. The Super Bowl is a popular sports event in the US. Its popularity cuts across all genders because both male and female fans love the game (Schauer 2015). Its popularity often peaks in cities where the competing teams come from. There is no specific age limit for NFL fans because people from all age groups enjoy the sport. The popularity of the event has also spread to other parts of the world because foreign audiences also enjoy the sport as much as Americans do (Thornton, 2018). Fans of the Super Bowl also cut across all income brackets. In other words, people from all socioeconomic groups watch the event every year from their homes and the pitch as well (Doeden, 2017).

A typical Super Bowl fan is also unbounded by racial, ethnic, and religious differences because people from different social and religious groups watch the game. These characteristics mean that sponsors could reach a wide sample of people that are not limited by racial, educational, income, gender, or national differences. Therefore, there is tremendous value in booking an advertisement sport for the event.

Purpose of the Event

The Super Bowl is not only an event for die-hard American football fans but also a highly coveted extravaganza for sports enthusiasts and businesses alike. Indeed, the viewership numbers for a typical event could be in hundreds of millions of people (Bonsor, 2019). Few sporting events command this type of audience. Therefore, the Super Bowl provides a good platform for reaching a large population of people. It also has the power to capture the imagination and attention of audiences not only in America but also around the world. This effect is visible in dozens of advertisements, which have been featured in previous events and become viral through online virtual platforms such as YouTube (Bonsor, 2019). In other words, they have provided an opportunity for companies to promote their brand beyond the games.

The Super Bowl’s success as a commercial platform for promoting global brands stems from a three-pronged structure. The first one is the game for which millions of people tune in to watch the match. Its benefits have been outlined in this document. The second part is the half-time show, which attracts millions of people who tune in for the event because of its entertainment value. It is often characterized by lights, beams, and international celebrities. The last part is commercials that not only appeal to the entertainment-seeking audience but also the brands behind commercials that enjoy an opportunity to create awareness to a large audience.

Super Bowl commercials are different from other types of advertisements because they make the audience anticipate what will happen each year, as many people believe their commercials are exceptional (Bonsor, 2019). Therefore, people always anticipate seeing which kind of advertisements will be aired every year. Such commercials, when aired on Super Bowl, are part of the events trifactor outlined above. The importance of this event is further evident in the fact that millions of people do not pay as much attention to other commercials that air on television in other months of the year as they do Super Bowl because the event’s commercials are unique (Creamer, 2018).

Overall, the NFL is not only one of the world’s most recognizable sporting agencies but also the top league for football in the North American continent. Based on the insights outlined above, the purpose of the event is to determine the champion between winners of the National and American Football Conferences (Creamer, 2018). This event will help your organization to create awareness about the Emirates brand across the multiple demographic characteristics of the audience.

Advertisements that will be placed during the Super Bowl will also command a huge viewership away from the games because additional airplay and exposure will be provided during morning shows and newscasts. The televised nature of Super Bowl events will also be beneficial to Emirates Airline because it would allow the brand to be watched in about 88% of US households that own a television set (Creamer, 2018). Additionally, advertising during the Super Bowl event will improve the credibility of Emirates as a global brand because studies have shown that many people assume companies, which advertise during the super bowl, have a high advertisement budget and are credible (Creamer, 2018).

Media

Super Bowl’s popularity is partly informed by the contracts that the NFL has signed with several network television companies. The game is also broadcast across multiple radio networks operated by the NFL (Schauer 2015). In addition, the NFL has relationships with several Spanish-level broadcasters, such as NBC Universo, which expand its access to Spanish-speaking audiences, such as Latin Americans (Bonsor, 2019).

Collectively, through several media arrangements between the NFL and independent media organizations, the Super Bowl is broadcast across dozens of networks around the world. This finding means that the company has market access to several primetime slots on television in multiple countries (Bonsor, 2019). Through such content distribution networks, the Super Bowl has a wide outreach, which averages about 104 million people (Bonsor, 2019). The official numbers for its global audience are contentious but Jackman (2018) says that the international viewership base may reach up to 50 million people.

Sponsorship Packages (Opportunity to Reach Target Market)

Although the Super Bowl is a major sports event, people do not only tune in for football; they also watch the commercials because they are an important source of information, entertainment, and humor. Commercials generate conversation material among several audiences long after the event ends (Bonsor, 2019). This effect is commonly reported because researchers suggest that the greater the public spectacle an event creates, the higher the level of commercial interest it generates (Bonsor, 2019).

Although the general effects of the Super Bowl are well established, the sponsorship deals for the event are designed to appeal to the needs of the sponsors. This goal stems from the NFL’s commitment to align the event’s objectives with those of the sponsors. Relative to this aim, three types of sponsorship packages are available to Emirates: bronze, silver, and gold sponsorship. The table below summarises their characteristics and benefits to your organization.

Table 1. Sponsorship Packages (Source: Developed by author).

Package Characteristics Benefits
1 Bronze sponsorship package This package is ideal for companies that want to promote their businesses through the Super Bowl’s promotional marketing plan. Companies also have an opportunity to promote their products in different marketing events organized by the NFL. Sponsors are also well looked after and maximum effort is accorded to promoting their businesses.
  • Companies have an opportunity to use the Super Bowl logo on selected merchandise.
  • Sponsors receive an official certificate of participation
  • Sponsors have an opportunity to put up signage during the Super Bowl event.
  • The sponsor’s logo appears on all promotional flyers for the Super Bowl
2 Silver sponsorship package This package is ideal for companies that want to increase their visibility across different audiences at a minimal cost.
  • Your company will be listed among a group of a few companies that enjoy the NFL’s great community culture.
  • Your logo will appear on the jerseys of the participating teams.
  • Sponsors have an opportunity to provide discounted or free products to NFL members throughout the Super Bowl season.
  • Your logo will appear on the sponsorship page and a link to the business provided.
3 Gold sponsorship package This package is appropriate for companies that want to increase their exposure across different audiences and media. Interested companies are included in the larger NFL family and this status allows them to promote their business
  • Sponsors enjoy the opportunity to exercise naming rights in the Super Bowl event.
  • The sponsor’s logo will appear in the NFL newsletter and online publications.
  • Sponsors have an opportunity to set up a marquee during the Super Bowl finals.
  • Sponsors are published in the NFL brochures

Delivering Value (Benefits to Sponsor)

The Super Bowl is unlike any other event in the sporting world because, no matter the interest a person has in the event (whether sports or commercials), it is guaranteed to elicit some commercial value. The NFL also likes to share the same vision as its sponsors by thinking like its partners and comprehending their corporate objectives. This information is useful in assisting sponsors to develop targeted marketing campaigns. In line with this vision, staff from the NFL will be readily available for any consultation that Emirates may need. Through this interaction, both parties could collaborate and create solutions that will drive Emirate’s business objectives through the Super Bowl’s advertisement campaign. In line with this spirit, in return for your investments, the following benefits would be available to you.

  1. Your company’s name and logo will be featured on the NFL’s “sponsor’s page.” This platform is dedicated to all sponsors of the NFL and a link to Emirates Airline will be provided for all customers.
  2. Emirates Airline will receive up to 10 tickets for employees who may want to attend the pre-season presentation night.
  3. Your company will receive increased product and service recognition because the Super Bowl event will make many people aware of the different flight packages offered by the airline
  4. The Super Bowl will create a space for targeted connections because the advertisement will be shown to different demographic groups whose buying patterns can be tracked for purposes of target marketing
  5. One member of Emirates Airline staff will receive fully paid accommodation at a hotel in the city where the finals will be played
  6. Emirate’s company name will be announced during the Super Bowl finals.
  7. Emirates will be allowed to use the NFL’s logo on a selected group of merchandises for the company
  8. Emirates Airline will be presented with an official acknowledgment receipt of participation

These benefits will help to elevate Emirate’s brand visibility in the American and global markets. Therefore, the Super Bowl presents a unique opportunity for advancing Emirate’s strategic interests.

Sponsor Signature: _______________________ Date: _______________

Event Host Signature: ________________________ Date: _______________

References

Biagi, S. (2014). Media/Impact: An introduction to mass media (11th ed.). London, UK: Cengage Learning.

Bonsor, K. (2019). . Web.

Center for Aviation. (2019). Emirates Airline. Web.

Creamer, C. (2018). . Web.

Doeden, M. (2017). The Super Bowl: Chasing football immortality. New York, NY: Millbrook Press.

Emirates Group. (2017). . Web.

Emirates Group. (2019). Our football sponsorships. Web.

Emirates Media Center. (2019). Emirates offers an inside look into the heart of its operations. Web.

Jackman, S. (2018). . Web.

Klein, C. (2014). . Web.

McAtee, R. (2018). . Web.

Page, J. (2014). Pro football championships before the Super Bowl: A year-by-year history, 1926-1965. New York, NY: McFarland.

Schauer, P. (2015). Russell Wilson: Super Bowl sensation. New York, NY: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Statista. (2019). . Web.

Thornton, J. (2018). Five rings: The Super Bowl history of the New England Patriots (so far). Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.

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IvyPanda. (2021, July 15). Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/public-relations-and-sponsorships-emirates-airlines-and-the-nfl-in-2020-super-bowl/

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"Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl." IvyPanda, 15 July 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/public-relations-and-sponsorships-emirates-airlines-and-the-nfl-in-2020-super-bowl/.

1. IvyPanda. "Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl." July 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/public-relations-and-sponsorships-emirates-airlines-and-the-nfl-in-2020-super-bowl/.


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IvyPanda. "Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl." July 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/public-relations-and-sponsorships-emirates-airlines-and-the-nfl-in-2020-super-bowl/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl." July 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/public-relations-and-sponsorships-emirates-airlines-and-the-nfl-in-2020-super-bowl/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Public Relations and Sponsorships: Emirates Airlines and the NFL in 2020 Super Bowl'. 15 July.

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