By Barry Janoff
June 29, 2015: The NFL has switched rides for the 2015 season, which will culminate at Super Bowl 50.
The league has signed a four-year deal that names Hyundai Motor America as its official partner in the automotive category.
Hyundai replaces General Motors, an NFL partner since 2001, which opted not to renew its deal with the league.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the four-year deal was valued at upward of $200 million, according to industry analysts.
Sibling Kia is the official automotive partner for the NBA.
Hyundai said it would launch its activation with a "major presence" during NFL Kickoff activities on Sept. 10.
Hyundai Motor said that it "loves sports and has a long history of celebrating fan passion across the globe . . . The NFL has the largest and most avid fan base among U.S. sports, and Hyundai will soon connect this passion with the enthusiasm Hyundai owners have for their vehicles."
"We are huge football fans at Hyundai and feel there is no better venue to reach consumers, increase consideration and tell the Hyundai brand story," Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO for Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement. "We can't wait to show the NFL's 188 million fans the great design, advanced technologies, dynamic performance and numerous safety features within the Hyundai lineup. The NFL and Hyundai also share a commitment to helping the communities where we do business, another important aspect of our sponsorship."
The automotive category is one of the strongest in the NFL, especially during jewel events, and Hyundai has been a significant player there.
During the past five years prior to Super Bowl XLIX, the top five Super Bowl advertisers spent a combined $456.6 million on network advertising during the game, about 35% of total ad revenue, according to research and marketing firm Kantar Media.
Anheuser-Busch InBev topped the list at $152.5 million, followed by Chrysler ($89.5 million), Pepsico ($76.6 million), Hyundai ($69.8 million) and Volkswagen ($68.1 million).
"We are huge football fans at Hyundai and feel there is no better venue to reach consumers, increase consideration and tell the Hyundai brand story."
During Super Bowl XLIX, auto manufacturers led all ad categories with 11 ads and 11 minutes of commercial time, according to Kantar.
As part of its new alliance, Hyundai will have use of NFL trademarks across various marketing channels, including branded content, advertising and promotional materials.
Hyundai said it plans to activate year-round, including during the Super Bowl, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, NFL Kickoff and NFL Playoffs. Plans include multi-platform marketing and activations and providing promotional vehicles at the Super Bowl and other events throughout the year.
According to Renie Anderson, the NFL's svp-sponsorship, "We are pleased to welcome Hyundai to our family of sponsors., We appreciate Hyundai's enthusiasm as we work together to reach our fans with innovative programs during our season and with our major calendar events throughout the year."
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