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Snapchat’s Users Created a Ton of Free Football Content for the NFL

The NFL and Snapchat are in talks to extend their partnership.


Snapchat and the NFL are a great team, according to Snapchat and the NFL.

Sunday is the Super Bowl, which means the end of the NFL season but also the end of the first season-long partnership between the two organizations. Snapchat announced that it was teaming up with the NFL back in September and, since then, the two sides have produced more than 30 Live Stories around different NFL games.

The combo worked, apparently. Snapchat tells Re/code that 65 million unique users consumed NFL content this season, with users submitting nearly 60 hours worth of photos and videos to the company each game.

It’s not easy to put those numbers into context. (The NFL gets tens of millions of viewers for prime-time games throughout the season, for example.) But the NFL is very happy with the numbers. And so is Snapchat.

“It has exceeded even our expectations,” said Blake Stuchin, director of digital media business development at the NFL. “We went at this expecting that this could be exciting, but not knowing how our content would resonate with users on this platform.”

Added Snapchat’s director of partnerships, Ben Schwerin: “We were thrilled with this partnership.”

Here’s how the current tie-up works: The NFL and its players provide Snapchat with some behind-the-scenes content and the green light to use its valuable footage. It also sells the advertising space alongside the Live Stories, introducing some of its big brand partners to Snapchat for the very first time.


Snapchat then brings the young, mobile-friendly eyeballs the NFL covets from all over the world. Of the 65 million unique viewers this season, 40 percent were outside the United States, according to Stuchin.

“Any opportunity that we have to introduce [new fans] to the NFL in interesting ways but also different ways is always going to be something that is attractive to us,” said Stuchin.

The two sides are already in talks to continue their partnership next season, a likely scenario given the audience they had this season. There are also some obvious benefits to keeping the relationship going. The NFL has some of the most popular and valuable content in the world, and Snapchat has one of the most valuable audiences. It’s a natural fit.

It will be interesting to see how intertwined the two sides get in 2016. There are lots of details to work out. Generating more Live Stories around more games seems like a possibility. So does an NFL-specific Discover Channel, which Stuchin says the two sides have discussed. There is also a revenue split on ads sold alongside the NFL Stories, and while no one was willing to share details, it seems plausible that details like that will be renegotiated with a year’s worth of data in the books.

In the meantime, though, there’s still one major event left on the deal: Super Bowl Sunday. The NFL will have two Snapchat Live Stories this weekend, one with content focused on the game and another with content pulled from Super Bowl parties around the world.

Stuchin says that advertiser interest has been high year round, and the Super Bowl was no exception. The NFL lined up four advertisers for Sunday’s big game: Marriott Hotels, Amazon, Budweiser and Pepsi.

“We hope [the Super Bowl] is one of our most successful stories,” he said. “We do expect the audience to be one of our highest.”

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