Sprint and the National Football League (NFL) today announced the completion of a groundbreaking deal that secures Sprint as the official wireless telecommunications service sponsor of the NFL, marking an historic arrangement that reaches beyond marquee branding and delivers first-ever, exclusive NFL content and original programming.
"No other sports marketing arrangement comes close to the fan benefits that we've achieved with the NFL. It represents a clear departure from the standard sports sponsorship, and delivers exclusively into the hands of Sprint customers and fans an entirely new and interactive experience," said Tom Murphy, vice president of sponsorships at Sprint. "Beginning this NFL season, innovation takes on new meaning for fans who will be connected to the NFL in a way that's uniquely their own." Sprint and Nextel have a history of maximizing sponsorship relationships and the NFL allows an unparalleled content platform to leverage.
Shortly after the kickoff of the 2005 NFL season, Sprint will deliver exclusive and original NFL content to mobile phones in new and compelling formats. Recognizing the needs of an increasingly mobile lifestyle, the arrangement delivers on customers' demands for instant gridiron gratification.
For the first time, original live and exclusive content is being developed from the two organizations as part of the agreement. The following outlines the unique content areas of the deal:
1) Exclusive game highlights/live updates. Only Sprint customers will receive audio and video highlights following the conclusion of the game broadcast window. During the game window, Sprint will distribute audio highlights, live text updates, scores and statistics.
2) Live video - NFL Network. Sprint will deliver live NFL Network programming as well as news updates, weekly features, press conferences and daily features from the flagship "Total Access" show.
3) Video on demand - NFL and Sprint Films. The NFL will tap its vast NFL Films' archive to provide Super Bowl highlights and other packages, including "The Best of NFL Films." For the first time in history, Sprint and the NFL will partner to produce original content for fans.
4) Fantasy Football. NFL fans will be able to manage and monitor their fantasy football team, have access to real-time statistics and highlights of their players - all via the Sprint network.
5) Ring Tones/Screensavers/Wallpaper. Sprint will distribute ring tones, screensavers and wallpaper, including exclusive product related to major NFL events, such as the NFL Draft and Super Bowl.
6) Polls, contests and sweepstakes. Sprint and the NFL will engage in wireless polling, sweepstakes and contests. Fans will be able to vote for Pro Bowl selections and Super Bowl MVP via the Sprint network.
Layering onto the magnitude of the sponsorship, Sprint will be the presenting sponsor at the NFL Opening Kickoff 2005 event, featuring the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders in Boston on Sept. 8. Further, Sprint will partner with the NFL as the exclusive sponsor of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl MVP balloting on mobile phones via: text messaging, online at NFL.com and in retail stores nationwide. Sprint also will sponsor the Pro Bowl Selection Show on ESPN in December and the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge on ESPN in February 2006.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.