How Technology Is Improving The Business Side of The NFL

The National Football League (NFL) is home to America’s biggest enterprise in football. As much as the NFL is committed to delivering premium American football and sports entertainment, it also operates one of the most robust business models in the world of sports and corporate America.

The NFL regards itself as a trade association. Each of the 32 contributing teams is a member of the association. NFL teams are considered some of the highest valued sports teams in America and beyond. The teams’ financial strengths rank the NFL high among the highest revenue-generating sports bodies in the world. This strength reflects in the high NFL odds released weekly during the NFL season.

While most sports fans are usually limited to the entertainment aspects of the sport, American football fans who follow the NFL can participate in the entertainment and business aspects of the NFL. This may be alien to other sports, but the NFL considers the fans inclusive of all aspects of the game and business. The NFL’s vibrant relationship with its fans on all levels has been an important factor in its business success.

The primary reason the NFL has allowed its fans to get involved in the business side of the sport is due to the preference for leveraging technology for the benefit of the sport.

How Does Technology Contribute To The Business Success Of The NFL?

Since the NFL began adopting technology, it has improved the sport on the field and brought remarkable growth to the business success of the NFL. Technology has positively affected most of the NFL’s operations, and it is now a key component driving everyday operations.

The NFL is using technology in different facets by applying different technology solutions. This happens through a combination of technology solutions initially developed for football and technology adopted from other business sectors.

One of the biggest technology partners of the NFL is Zebra Technologies. Zebra Technologies is responsible for the NFL’s Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) player tracking system. This system helps the NFL to gather real-time player location, speed, distance covered, and other on-field data. The data is transmitted to a stadium sensor system that records the data immediately and makes the same data available to broadcasters who use the data in their in-game analysis.

For years, the NFL has missed many details embedded in these data. Apart from broadcasters, the data is instantly made available to medical personnel who use them to ascertain the correct extent and status of injuries. Coaches and the players also use the data to understand their strengths and weaknesses on the pitch.

The tracking system developed by Zebra Technologies has been used in several business sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and logistics, to manage supply logistics and track everyday inventory. The NFL does not need everyday inventories like these other sectors, still, Zebra Technologies was able to redesign the tracking system to suit the NFL’s needs. As a result, the NFL can use its data to make essential business decisions.

Without this data, the NFL might have not been able to reach a total revenue of $11 billion for 2021, with each team receiving over $300 million. But beyond revenue increment, technology contributes to improved fan experiences, efficient on-pitch communication, player safety, strategic game planning and training.


The NFL’s renewed commitment to technology follows its remarkable successes as a business since it started adopting technology. With technology, the NFL has a beneficial tool that can help to build its business model further and strengthen its institutional operations.

As a business, the NFL’s first duty is to deliver the best football games to fans of the game. These days, fans are yearning for more interactive and other creative experiences. Without technology, the NFL will never be able to keep up with the demands of these fans.

Technology is not just a tool for the NFL, it  is a big opportunity for the NFL to take its business to the next level and achieve more growth. If this is the start of the NFL’s relationship with technology, then the business side of the organization is set to reach huge growth levels in the near future.

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