CMO Explains Why NFL Still Important To Hyundai

Despite stepping away as an NFL sponsor after four years, Hyundai Motor America still sees opportunities surrounding the pigskin. 

The automaker is returning for a third season of "Rolling with the Rookies," a five-episode content series that profiles athletes. Leading up to the draft, Hyundai filmed the five prospects in their hometowns and captured their stories of personal triumphs.

The automaker will distribute the content on its own website and social media channels, and through a multiplatform distribution strategy driven in partnership with digital sports publisher and consultancy, ThePostGame. 

Dean Evans, CMO of Hyundai Motor America, shares his thoughts about why NFL-related marketing is still a good fit for the brand. 



Why did you decide to continue with this activation despite not renewing your partnership with the NFL?

Evans: Our branded content strategy is about delivering stories that people want to consume and subtly working in our vehicles in a way we think aligns with the overall series.

Also, these stories align with our brand commitment that “Better Drives Us” — we want to pay homage to those driven to do and contribute better.  It’s who we are, and we respect it in others. Despite not being an official NFL sponsor, we can still tell these inspiring stories and connect with the millions of fans who are excited for the draft this week.

Is this a more cost-effective way to get in front of NFL fans?

Evans: We’ve found ["Rolling with the Rookies"] to be highly effective at reaching fans of the NFL and the players we feature. There is a lot of interest in the players who will be selected, and an appetite for more in-depth storytelling about their journey to the NFL.

Fans expect and appreciate these stories of athletes challenging themselves to be better.  It is a Hyundai hallmark to celebrate and show our passion for the drive and determination of these amazing athletes.

Are you committed to doing this series for a certain number of years? 

Evans: We currently look at this series on a year-by-year basis, but continue to be pleased with how it performs. 

Will we see anything else pairing Hyundai with the NFL this season?

Evans: We will continue to have a significant presence in NBC’s "Sunday Night Football" as the kickoff show sponsor.  And we will also maintain partnerships with six NFL teams: Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans. These local team relationships allow us to have a presence at their home games and provide opportunities for our regions and dealers to engage with fans and potential customers in their markets.

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