1. Pursue An Exclusive Partnership With One Wireless Carrier—this is the approach that the NFL previously chose in 2005 with Sprint. The deal was valued at $500 million plus $50 million annually to be the NFL’s exclusive wireless partner and an additional $50 million earmarked for NFL-related advertising and promotion.
* Strengths—an exclusive relationship with Sprint provides a more intimate B2B relationship. Sprint would be willing to pay a premium for the NFL’s brand name and services. They would benefit by being the official sponsor of the NFL. An exclusive partnership would involve higher levels of trust between the two companies than non-exclusive partnerships. * Weaknesses—over 70% of Americans identify themselves as fans of the NFL. In addition, the NFL is generates $8 billion annually, making it one of the most successful entertainment properties in the world. By choosing Sprint as an exclusive partner, you are leaving out a large number of NFL fans who could be potentially interested in digital media services. An exclusive partnership with Verizon, the market share leader of wireless carriers, would exclude roughly 67% of the market. * Opportunities—the NFL’s digital media group could strike a new deal with Sprint or another wireless provider. They would strike a higher contract than before because their digital services have proved popular and profitable. * Threats—An exclusive partnership will make one wireless carrier very happy, but upset the rest. This could lead to hostile business relationships in the future. The NFL needs to be careful of turning potential business customers away. 2. Form Non-Exclusive Partnerships With Multiple Wireless Carriers—this would give each carrier the right to carry NFL content on mobile phones, but no one company has the exclusive right to do so. The NFL’s current television contracts have been non-exclusive in the past and have proven highly successful. *...
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