Amazon Prime Video, in a groundbreaking move, will host the first-ever NFL game on Black Friday, a day traditionally marked by the start of the holiday shopping season. This strategic decision by Amazon aligns with its biggest shopping day of the year, leveraging the immense viewership potential of an NFL game to boost its holiday sales campaign.
The game, featuring AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, will be live-streamed from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Set to begin at 3 p.m. ET, this marks a significant expansion of Amazon's partnership with the NFL, adding to its existing commitment to stream Thursday Night Football. Amazon, which pays around $1 billion per year over 11 years for its NFL streaming rights, has further invested an additional $75 million to secure the rights for the Black Friday game.
In a bid to enhance the viewing experience, Amazon has planned a series of live events surrounding the game. The kick-off show is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET, and in a customer-centric move, the Black Friday game will be available for free streaming to anyone with an Amazon account, not just Prime subscribers.
This initiative is part of Amazon's broader strategy to integrate its e-commerce platform with live sports entertainment. As stated by Jay Marine, VP and global head of sports for Prime Video, this new tradition aims to establish Black Friday Football as a staple in the national sports calendar.
The game's streaming is expected to draw significant viewership, following the trend of increased audience numbers for Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime. The audience for these games has seen a notable 26% increase compared to the previous season, attracting a younger median viewer age compared to traditional broadcast/cable television NFL games.
Amazon's integration of e-commerce and live sports streaming offers interactive advertising opportunities for marketers. The platform has sold out its advertising inventory for the event, featuring presenting sponsors like Google, Carnival Cruises, Bose, Hasbro, and Columbia Sportswear. Additionally, viewers will have access to special shopping deals during the game, including product drops from popular brands.
This innovative approach by Amazon reflects the changing landscape of Black Friday, traditionally associated with physical retail sales. With the rise of online shopping, events like Prime Day and the extended holiday shopping season, Black Friday's significance has evolved, with a YouGov survey indicating a shift in consumer behavior and attitudes towards this day.
The NFL game on Black Friday adds a new dimension to the day's activities, which have long included college football games and other sporting events. Amazon's venture into live sports streaming on Black Friday represents a fusion of sports entertainment and digital commerce, potentially setting a new trend in how major events are leveraged for e-commerce and viewer engagement.