Twitter is now making efforts to get a return on the $10 million investment it made in April to acquire the streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football games. CEO Jack Dorsey and COO Adam Bain are attending the annual Cannes Lions ad festival in France this week to push their business, including selling NFL-linked ad packages.
Will some portion go to the NFL also?
Such ad packages include Twitter’s ad inventory around NFL highlights, which the micro-blogging giant sold last year, and also the NFL game footage acquired this year. Citing a person familiar with the deals, Re/code says these ad packages are selling for between $2 million and $8 million per advertiser. The price range is based on the number of ads and whether or not the ads are shown alongside other NFL content or during a game.
Matt Derella, who runs North American sales for Twitter and is in charge of selling the NFL packages, said the micro-blogging giant aims to sell 10 to 15 of these packages. About 60% of the ad inventory has already been sold, Derella said, adding that some of the marketers (Anheuser-Busch, Ford, Nestle) who purchased Twitter ads during last year’s NFL season have already registered for the games.
Citing a source, Re/code says that on the entire NFL deal, the company would make a minimum of $50 million. However, it is not known how much of this the micro-blogging firm will keep. Though the company has paid $10 million for the NFL rights, it will still need to give some portion of its revenue to the NFL.
Also there is no clarity on how the whole broadcast will actually appear. Though the company will get the same game feed that is available on TV, it has not revealed how it will add a social component to the broadcast. Derella did suggest that a stream of live tweets from fans and experts will accompany the game.
“We’re going to marry the best of Twitter [with the NFL stream]. So that would be that live experience as it’s happening and that live conversation around Twitter. One flavor would be all the most authoritative analysts and players actually tweeting about the game,” Derella described in the interview.
For Twitter, the real challenge will be to convince users to look at the tweets rather than the game.