Lexus Joins McDonald's, Craftsman, KFC As NFL Network 'TNF' Season Sponsor

By Barry Janoff

September 10, 2012: With its schedule for the season expanded from eight to 13 games, NFL Network is becoming more of a prime destination for marketers than in previous seasons. The latest example: Lexus has signed on as the title sponsor of the halftime show for NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.

NFL Network's Thursday Night Football debuts Sept. 13 with the Chicago Bears visiting the Green Bay Packers. It runs through Dec. 13 when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Philadelphia Eagles.

According to NFL Network, the Lexus Halftime Show will originate live from inside each respective stadium for the entire season. Financial terms of the deal with Lexus were not disclosed.

Alliances for the weekly games on NFL Network also include Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Craftsman, the KFC Pre-Kick Show and the McDonald's Post-Game Show.

Among its support, Lexus said it would activate on such NFL Network platforms as broadcast, Thursday Night Football streamed live on NFL Mobile from Verizon and digital, including’s Game Center. Lexus also said it would launch a "Thursday Night Football Challenge" (with details to follow). Lexus previously had a smaller role with the Thursday night programming.

The automaker this month launched its "Stunning Work of Technology" multi-media campaign to introduce the 2013 Lexus ES. Lexus ran its first commercial on a Super Bowl broadcast this past February for the 2013 GS.

NFL Network has been running a campaign, "It's Seriously Fun," to support the enhanced Thursday Night Football schedule.

Leading in to every Thursday Night Football game, Grammy Award-winning artist Cee Lo Green will sing “I Love Football,” set to The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.” The 90-second opener for each Thursday Night Football game will also feature videos created and uploaded by fans to coincide with the teams playing that night.

NFL Network said that Thursday Night Football last season averaged a record 7.3 million viewers (including over-the-air stations in competing team cities), which was up 4% from 2010.

NFL Network Ads Serious, Quirky

NFL, Cee Lo Give Fans A Voice

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