Hyundai lands sponsorship rights for NBC’s NFL Sunday Night Kickoff show

Hyundai Motor America has landed sponsorship rights for the NFL’s “Sunday Night Football” Kickoff show on NBC.

“Sunday Night Football” has been prime-time TV’s top show for seven consecutive seasons, the automaker said, averaging more than 18 million viewers each week last season.

Hyundai, already the NFL’s official automotive sponsor, came into the 2018 season looking to assume a bigger role on game day.

The league sponsorship deal that it struck in 2015 allowed Hyundai and its dealers to use the logos of the NFL and its teams, while giving the brand permission to use the term “Super Bowl” during promotions around one of advertising’s biggest stages.

But the deal offered little direct advertising exposure during NFL games on Fox, CBS and NBC, leaving the door open for deeper-pocketed brands to own game day telecasts. So football fans continued to get heavy doses of brands such as Ford, the NFL’s truck sponsor, GMC, a “Monday Night Football” sponsor, and Toyota, which previously sponsored the halftime report on “Monday Night Football” in addition to its ongoing sponsorship of Sunday night’s halftime show.

Hyundai’s “Sunday Night Football” pregame play could help it intercept some viewer attention.

“You can buy the sponsorship, and then if you don’t have enough money to run enough TV commercials, you almost don’t look like the sponsor,” said Dean Evans, Hyundai Motor America’s marketing chief. “We’ve tried to recalibrate that a little bit.”

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