Automakers are ready to take the field for one of the most uncertain National Football League seasons ever.
In normal times, the biggest question mark for the NFL, which kicks off Thursday, Sept. 10, would be about who’s going to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February. But the coronavirus pandemic threatens to disrupt the league and the games that have long been a key cog in many automakers’ marketing strategies.
Major League Baseball already has had to postpone games because of COVID-19 outbreaks among teams.
The NFL, which drew $4.3 billion in advertising dollars last season, could face the same problem, said Kevin Krim, CEO of analytics firm EDO Inc.
“ ’Sunday Night Football,’ ‘Monday Night Football’ and ‘Thursday Night Football’ are all incredibly valuable franchises,” Krim said. “If suddenly there’s an outbreak the morning of one of those games, they’re not going to be able to play. There is this risk that some of these games could just not happen.”
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