Despite news about the terrible harm of concussions and the cheating of major players like the New England Patriot’s Tom Brady, NFL games are among the most widely watched among all sports in the world. In a recent Harris brand evaluation, the National Football League was ranked as the best Sports League Brand.
The NFL beat every sports organization from MLB to the NBA. Among the reasons may be that NFL games have much larger TV audiences, and that the day of the Super Bowl is all but a national holiday. Super Bowl 50 drew an average TV audience of 112 million. Some of the viewership may have been due to the fact that it was the last game played by Peyton Manning, who some experts believe was the greatest player in the sport.
Another reason for the popularity of the brand (which probably contributes to the Harris key evaluation measures: familiarity, quality and purchase consideration) is that most NFL teams are set in cities that have large populations. Adding their suburbs, the number has to rise by additional millions. The NFL has 32 teams. All large cities house at least one. And many have been around since before 1960, making the brand a particularly long-lived one.
The NFL is also a huge business. Its revenue runs above $13 billion.
If scandals have hurt the NFL, it does not show.
Methodology: Measuring the health of brands over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors — familiarity, quality and purchase consideration — that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. Brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 97,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 3,800 brands across nearly 500 categories.