The National Football League (NFL) is more than a sports organization; it also affects local retailers across the country. From sales of NFL merchandise to increased foot traffic in cities that host games, retailers stand to benefit from the high visibility of the NFL.
The biggest local retail impact happens in the cities that host NFL events. Each year, the NFL holds more than 200 games. Each game brings out thousands of fans wearing NFL merchandise, increasing foot traffic near the stadium, public transportation stops, and event parking facilities. Other fans head to local bars and restaurants to watch the game, increasing traffic in other parts of the city. Local retailers benefit from this sudden rise in foot traffic, as many fans will stop in stores before or after the game. Host cities also benefit from other NFL events; according to The Star Press, the NFL Scouting Combine brings an estimated economic influx of $6.5 million to Indianapolis each year.
When it comes to the NFL impact on retailers, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest contributing factors. Each year, the final game of the season attracts a great deal of attention and celebration across the country. Football fans plan Super Bowl parties, both small and large, to watch the game, often with special snacks and drinks. For local retailers—particularly grocery stores—this heightened level of excitement can lead to greater profits. Fans often purchase extra food, alcohol, and party supplies in the days leading up to the big game, translating to a short-term economic bump. As a result, many retailers dedicate floor space to football-themed displays designed to remind customers of the big game. In areas with high fan engagement, the added profits from Super Bowl sales can have a significant effect on a retailer's bottom line.
In many cases, the NFL impact on retailers is not limited to game days. Local retail professionals who sell NFL merchandise may see financial benefits throughout the year. Many football fans like to sport their favorite NFL merchandise on game days and ordinary days alike; they wear jerseys to viewing parties, wear team hats to social outings, and put bumper stickers on their vehicles. For retailers who operate in areas with large concentrations of football fans, NFL merchandise can be a lucrative business. In some cases, it may take a period of experimentation to find out which teams and which types of merchandise are the top sellers.
For retailers, the NFL has the potential to bring added business and increased sales. Whether a store sells NFL merchandise or party supplies, managers can create promotions around the NFL schedule to boost profits and build a stronger business.
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