By Barry Janoff
June 6, 2013: It may be baseball season, and the NBA and NHL championships are upon us, but it is the NFL that still rules among sports fans and others nationwide.
The NFL was named the top "Sports League Brand of the Year" according to the just-released 25th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend Poll. It was the second consecutive honor for the league, which came out ahead of (in order) college football, MLB and college basketball.
Harris Interactive said that some 70 sports-related brands were assessed for the 2013 EquiTrend study, which polled more than 38,500 U.S. consumers between Jan. 11-Feb. 8. Participants were asked to respond to about 1,500+ lifestyle, product and service brands in three main categories: Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration.
Although ESPN was named as the top Sports TV network, the NFL had a strong showing here, as well. Among those people polled by Harris, NFL Red Zone and NFL Network were the third and fourth most-popular sports networks, with CBS Sports second and NBC Sports in fifth place.
Among the other sports-related products or marketing partners that topped their respective categories in the 2013 EquiTrend Study were: Under Armour (sports apparel), Clif Bar (energy bars), Full Throttle (energy drinks), Cabela's (sporting goods stores), Subway (QSR) and Coke (soft drinks).
In what might be considered the biggest upset of the poll, Merrell was No. 1 in the running shoe category, outdistancing the likes of (in order) New Balance, Nike, ASICS, adidas, Brooks, K-Swiss, Puma and Reebok.