As the 2023 NFL season begins, brands line up for kick off

—Advertisers are leaning heavily into humour and stardom as fans tune in to the start of the season—

By Sabrina Sanchez

It’s that time of year again: the air is cooler, the leaves are changing colour and fresh turf has been rolled onto football fields across the U.S.

As the 2023-2024 NFL season kicks off on Sept. 7, football fans and brands alike are highly anticipating the season ahead.

The NFL is leaning into rumours and humuor to introduce the season with a star-studded campaign that highlights how entertaining the league truly is, as star football athletes sit for a line reading of this season’s “script.”

Brands are also joining the fray as they look to reach the NFL’s massive and captive audience. From sports betting to media companies, advertisers are striking themes of finding common ground, levity and fun in this year’s ads.

So far, the ads have taken light-hearted tones, with this year’s football season expected to reach more viewers than usual, as TelevisionUnivision struck a contract to air the Super Bowl in Spanish.

Campaign US has rounded up some of our favourite NFL kick off campaigns below.


On Tuesday (Sept. 5), the sports betting platform launched a campaign starring Grammy-award winning artist Jamie Foxx. Created by 72andSunny, it features two spots filmed in Las Vegas that tout the perks of BetMGM’s platform. In the first, “Doing it Live,” Foxx plays the piano at the NoMad Library inside the Park MGM hotel while athletes play their various sports, causing destruction throughout the hotel as guests place their bets.

The second spot, “The Game,” scheduled to air later this month, captures Foxx walking through the Park MGM while checking out the wide array of wagers on the BetMGM app. As he descends a staircase from the Dolby Live Theater, Foxx is engulfed by a cascading waterfall of sports images. He makes his way to a BetMGM-branded race car waiting for him—a nod to the F1 race taking place in Vegas in November. Fellow BetMGM ambassador and former NHL player Wayne Gretzky makes a special cameo before Foxx drives off into the night.


PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and beverage brands are kicking off the 2023 NFL season with a star-studded campaign featuring current Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, along with former players  Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Dan Marino, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith. The spot, called “Unretirement,” shows how retirement unfolds for these NFL legends: Marino uses reading glasses to see the play call wristband, Smith accidentally falls asleep on the bench, and former teammates Brady and Edelman consider a return to the game.

“Unretirement” marks Allen’s first campaign in a multi-year partnership with PepsiCo. The commercial will premiere during the first broadcast of Sunday Night Football on NBC (Sept. 10) and will run throughout the season.


In addition to the “Unretirement” campaign, PepsiCo’s Quaker brand is celebrating the return of football season with two-time Super Bowl champion and former New York Giant Eli Manning.

After appearing in a commercial for the brand last year, Manning returns with his family in two new spots that give viewers a peek into what mornings look like at their household, featuring cameos from his two daughters and his father, Archie Manning.

The commercials began running on Thursday, Aug. 31 across TV and online video, YouTube.

Corona Extra 

Manning seems to be a popular figure in this year’s ads, as the two-time Super Bowl champion makes an appearance for another brand: Corona Extra. To kick-off the season, he joins forces with the beer brand to coach fans on how to live the “fine life,” in line with Corona Extra’s slogan.

Through Nov. 17, Manning will help the brand recruit football fans to join the Fine Life Team and be featured in “Coach Eli’s” playbook, a digital collection of light-hearted, irreverent activities for fans. People are invited to submit by replying to @CoronaUSA’s post about the contest on X, formerly known as Twitter, with a fun name and description of a Fine Life “play,” like creating a distraction to scoop up the last Corona.

Those who participate will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Fine Life Team kit, a curated gift box including a jersey signed by Manning, a letter from Manning and other items to help enjoy the games.

General Mills 

General Mills is also ushering in the new season by featuring NFL players in a new spot for its taco shell and seasoning brand, Old El Paso. Created by agency Ep+Co, the spot, called “The Taco Boy,” stars J.J., Derek and T.J. Watt and takes inspiration from Adam Sandler’s The Waterboy, shot in a similar style by the film’s director, Frank Coraci.

In the spot, Old El Paso claims that tacos are a better game day food than hot dogs and burgers, a play on the The Waterboy character’s assertion that water is better than sports drinks when it comes to game day hydration. The ad taps into the insight that Mexican food is simple, easy and communal—just as football creates a space for game day gatherings that are common ground.


Hulu is taking football season as an opportunity to promote its live sports offering in a campaign featuring Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Jalen Hurts. In a spot titled “Word Travels Fast,” created by Translation, Hulu demonstrates that you can’t spell HuluHasLiveSports without “Hurts.” The spot is live on social media and digital sports-focused properties including ESPN, Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated, and will debut on broadcast TV on Sept. 7 during the Thursday Night Football kickoff game.

This article originally appeared at Campaign US.