BLOG | by Victor Gras

Can anyone feel a draft? The NFL is back with a bang

If there’s one thing which might lift our spirits while lockdown endures, it’s the NFL Draft. So in the absence of much else sport, we thought we’d take a quick look at how this annual fixture was performing this year. Is it balm in troubled times or an unwanted distraction from more important matters?

A quick look at our rankings for Word of Mouth* tells us that the NFL is the most-talked-about sports property right now.

But how does that compare to last year? Actually, it’s remarkably similar to last year’s showing, as we set out in the chart below.

In fact, Word of Mouth for all our top properties for this time of the year is holding up pretty well under the circumstances, but none more so than the NFL, which actually beats the score it posted at the same time last year. (Obviously the Summer Olympic Games shows a bigger increase but it’s a quadrennial event so isn’t comparable).

And our new tool, EventIndex, is tracking the Draft specifically (rather than the NFL in general) so let’s offer some more detail. EventIndex tracks all the major sports and entertainment events, from the Oscars to the Super Bowl, and ranks them by the public perception of the 16 metrics we collect daily for each.

The NFL Draft is currently top of our rankings for Word of Mouth, having climbed from ninth over the past eight-week period. Below, you can see the gains it has made amongst the general public and NFL fans. Although scores have dipped a little in the past couple of days we’ve got data for (so far), the Draft has made a strong showing, with impressive climbs.

Safe to say, then, that even in these difficult circumstances (perhaps even because of them), there’s plenty of appetite for sport – and plenty of room in the nation’s conversation – for the Draft. Even in its modified form, it feels like a touchstone of normalcy in a weird world.

WORD OF MOUTH *Which of the following have you talked about with friends or family in the past two weeks (in person, online or on social media)?

BLOG | by Victor Gras

VICTOR GRAS
Head of Client Services

Joining YouGov Sport in March 2018, Victor brings seven years of global sports sponsorship expertise. In his last role, he led Nielsen’s Market Intelligence activity across all US verticals, working with brands, rights holders and agency clients. He also worked previously with the New York Road Runners, where he helped TCS launch the title partnership of the NYC Marathon, as well as with the ASO, optimizing sponsorship strategies for the Tour de France and the Paris Marathon.

E victor.gras@yougov.com