Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2010 (Revised November 2010)

The NFL's Digital Media Strategy

by Anita Elberse, C. Kelsey Calhoun and Daven Johnson


In late 2009, Brian Rolapp, senior vice president of media strategy and digital media for the NFL, was faced with the challenge of determining the league's strategic approach to the wireless market—and presenting his views to NFL team owners. What was the league's best strategy for the mobile space? The case describes the antecedents of what is widely regarded as a landmark deal for the NFL, its $780 million, four-year exclusive partnership with Verizon. Provides in-depth information on the NFL's digital media revenues and relates those to the league's overall media and other revenues. Enables a rich discussion of new distribution opportunities and ensuing marketing and channel-management challenges.

Keywords: Business Model; Marketing Channels; Marketing Strategy; Media; Distribution Channels; Mobile Technology; Wireless Technology; Sports Industry;


Elberse, Anita, C. Kelsey Calhoun, and Daven Johnson. "The NFL's Digital Media Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 511-055, October 2010. (Revised November 2010.)