"National Football League (NFL) marketing has changed in recent years. Historically, the NFL represented itself through heroic narratives of struggle against foes, environmental conditions, and one’s self. This framing is typified in NFL Films productions. Since the 1990s, the NFL has needed to respond to an array of external forces, including an increasingly multi-cultural society that supports new identity formations, competition from diverse consumer-leisure options, and increased concerns about risks associate with football. NFL marketing as a result has become increasingly sophisticated, theatrical, and experiential. At its heart, NFL marketing emphasizes relationships, which is consistent with what marketers call 'the experience economy.' Through a study of marketing theory and the Football Is Family campaign, this project argues that contemporary NFL marketing attempts to colonize hearts and souls so that fans make NFL commodities a part of their intimate relations and form emotional relationships with NFL commodities."
Jeffrey Montez de Oca is an Associate Professor of sociology and the founding director of the Center for Critical Sport Studies at UCCS. His research has focused on college football, media, and popular culture during the early cold war. His current research primarily focuses on the National Football League's marketing strategies and the social construction of health and doping in elite French athletics during the second half of the twentieth century.
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