It’s been an insane 2020 for the NFL. Coronavirus arrived and it’s not just changed football, it’s changed the entire world. But it would be too simple to just focus on that, so we’re talking about two other ways the NFL has changed ahead of the 2020 season.
We’ve looked at one development that could increase the popularity of the league and one that might lead to happier players.
Sportsbook partnerships to increase the appeal of the NFL?
The Denver Broncos made NFL history in June 2020 when it became the first team to sign a sportsbook partnership. It began by teaming up with FanDuel, before subsequent deals with Betfred USA Sports, and BetMGM sportsbook.
It’s a clear example of how the NFL season is going to be different from its predecessors, as the league seeks to broaden its appeal.
The NFL wants to be the biggest sports league in the world, and in one way it is. It’s the biggest one on the planet by revenue, some way ahead of the MLB. But it lags behind the English Premier League when it comes to viewership.
Part of this is historic, but one of the other reasons for this can be attributed to the influence of sports betting companies.
Organisations such as Bet365 Casinos (https://www.onlinecasinos.co.uk/casino-reviews/bet365.htm) have a significant presence in the Premier League. These companies not only inject money into the league, but they also give fans a trustworthy way to bet on soccer games.
Why does this matter? Because it helps to drive up fan engagement by giving them a reason to take an interest in games their team isn’t involved in, increasing viewership as a result.
It may not seem significant right now, but the Denver Broncos sportsbook partnerships (https://www.denverbroncos.com/news/denver-broncos-and-betfred-usa-sports-announce-multi-year-partnership-ahead-of-b) may have set in motion a change that leads to the NFL being unquestionably the biggest sports league on the planet.
Collective Bargaining Agreement to lead to happier players?
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) isn’t what gets fans excited about the NFL, it’s the players. But for the players to make the big moves that give the fans what they want they need to be happy. The latest CBA might make them a little happier.
It was agreed in March 2020 without a strike or a lockout. The NFL and NFL Players Association were able to come to a deal that both sides are happy with.
And it’s a deal that will bring plenty of changes to the NFL.
Some of these changes will come into play after 2020. A key example of this is the season moving to a 17 game schedule, something that fans and players alike will have to wait until at least 2021 to experience.
However, Fox Business has provided a reliable report (https://www.foxbusiness.com/sports/nfl-collective-bargaining-agreement-details-facts-figures) on the changes that are coming in for 2020 and they will make a big difference.
- The NFL playoffs are going to increase from 12 to 14 teams
- There is going to be an “overall reduction in on-field fines”
- Rookie minimums are getting a $100,000 increase in their salaries
While the players will no doubt be pleased by all of these changes, you can’t blame them if they’re particularly pleased with the increase to their salaries.
We’re predicting that the knock-on of this is that the players will be a little bit happier. While you might not expect this to make much difference to how they play, ask yourself this now: “have my performance levels increased when I’ve received a pay rise?”
I think we both know the answer to that and it’s one reason why fans should be excited about the 2020 NFL season.
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Sportsbook partnerships and the CBA might not be the first things you’d think of when explaining how the NFL has changed ahead of the 2020 season.
But these two things could have an enormous impact on the league, perhaps making it both better and more popular.
Tune in when the season restarts to see how these changes have affected the NFL!