By Barry Janoff
September 7, 2016: Calling it an alliance that combines "America’s toughest trucks (with) football’s toughest players. the NFL has signed a three-year deal naming Ford Truck's F-Series as the 'official truck" of the league.
The pact, which begins with the 2016 Kickoff Game on Sept. 9, includes multi-media marketing, a sweepstakes tied to Super Bowl LI this February and Ford Truck sponsoring a new platform that honors the NFL offensive line of the week.
It also features a "Built Ford Tough Tailgate Trucks On Demand" activation in alliance with Uber, which will deliver to fans at NFL games "tough tailgate food, game tickets and merchandise by the all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty."
Financial terms of the deal were not released.
“America’s truck leader is teaming up with organizers of the nation’s favorite sport to put the spotlight on fans and players who show toughness, smarts and determination on and off the field, and who deserve to be recognized for that,” Mark LaNeve, vp-U.S. marketing, sales and service for Ford Motor Co., said in a statement.
"Both brands — each a leader in its category and known for toughness, capability, excellence and innovation — are coming together to give fans exclusive access to events and games, and to highlight players in a new way," said LaNeve.
Hyundai is the NFL's official auto sponsor, having replaced long-time league partner and Ford rival General Motors last season.
Ford Truck has other inroads in the NFL, including as the official truck for the Dallas Cowboys.
The brand unveiled a limited-edition 2016 F-150 pickup truck to celebrate its two-decade alliance with the team. The 400 trucks came complete with Cowboys logo and badging, and each truck was autographed by majority team owner Jerry Jones (MSRP $41,925).
Ford also has naming rights to the new Cowboys' headquarters and training facility, Ford Center at The Star, located in Frisco, Texas, which includes a 12,000-seat indoor stadium.
People can enter the Built Ford Tough Toughest Ticket sweepstakes for a chance to win such items as tickets to Super Bowl LI in Houston this February and a 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty customized to showcase their favorite NFL team.
Calling them "some of the toughest, smartest, most capable players in the league," Ford Trucks will name an O-Line of the week throughout the season, to be supported by marketing with former NFL offensive lineman, NFL Network and NFL.com analyst Shaun O’Hara as well as other former NFL offensive linemen.
Ford Truck said that O'Hara would "leverage statistical analysis, positional expertise, and knowledge of assignments to determine the offensive line of the week based on their performance in the previous week’s games."
The Offensive Line of the Week will be announced every Tuesday afternoon on NFL.com/Ford.
At the conclusion of the season, one offensive line will be recognized as Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year at the annual NFL honors awards presentation.
According to Renie Anderson, NFL svp-sponsorship and partnership management, "Just like our fans and players, Ford trucks and the NFL are always working to reach the next level through hard work, grit and commitment, which makes this partnership a natural fit.
"We’re proud to be partnering with such a legendary American brand and look forward to helping Ford trucks become synonymous with the country’s most popular sports league," said Anderson.
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