Athlete-driven sponsored content has become a staple of the NFL Draft. Each spring, more and more NFL hopefuls team up with league sponsors, licensees, and endorsement partners to share content with their engaged, rapidly growing social audiences.
64 of the Draft’s top prospects shared more than 120 sponsored posts to Twitter and Instagram throughout the weekend. Athlete-driven campaigns featuring Bose, Panini America, EA Sports, Gatorade, and many more took center stage during the NFL’s premier offseason event and left with big results.
The athlete-driven posts earned more than 2.5 million retweets, likes, and comments, earning over 20 thousand engagements per post. Posts including video have earned more than 5.6 million video views.
Athletes engaged their audience at a rate 55X higher than brand partners.
Posts were evenly distributed between the platforms, with 64 sponsored posts shared to Twitter and 57 to Instagram. Instagram again proved to be the engagement leader, though the engagement rates were generally incredible for athletes on each platform.
With a combined engagement rate of about 32 percent, athletes engaged their audience at a rate more than 55 times higher than that of their brand partners over the same time period.
- Instagram – Engagement Rate 36.65%
- Twitter – Engagement Rate 27.18%
- Brand Accounts – Engagement Rate (Twitter and Instagram) .58%
Performance like this is the outcome of sharing the right content, with the right athletes, at the right time. By capturing the highly emotional, real-time nature of the NFL Draft, both the brands and the athletes earned big wins on social.
Below, we share several of the top performing athlete-driven sponsored posts from the 2018 NFL Draft.
Top Athlete-Driven Posts
Blessed to be a member of the @Giants! Thank you for believing in me. You won't be disappointed. I'm ready to work! Already got my #NFLDraft card on #PaniniInstant. Check it out! https://t.co/IYvU7RTqjc pic.twitter.com/HrsRWGkfAu— Saquon Barkley (@saquon) April 27, 2018
M-I-A let's go! @MiamiDolphins I won't let you down. Glad I could share this moment and my first @NFL trading card with #PaniniInstant and all my fans https://t.co/AXh2TdQGUb pic.twitter.com/EAnkCS8dq4— Minkah Fitzpatrick (@minkfitz_21) April 27, 2018