The NFL in an effort to expand its digital offerings has announced a partnership with a number of … [+] digital streaming music providers in hopes of reaching its fan base in new and innovative ways. (Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

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The most pressing issue among teams and leagues in professional sports is creating a fan experience that keeps people coming back while engaging with fans in new and innovative ways, as media and entertainment consumption is in constant flux. With this in mind, the NFL took another big step yesterday to reach new audiences, when they announced official accounts on popular digital music streaming platforms including Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, Tidal and Soundcloud. 

These accounts will feature curated playlists, exclusive interviews and music, round table discussions featuring NFL legends such as Joe Namath and John Elway, and podcasts such as Around the NFL, Move the Sticks and the NFL’s official fantasy football podcast. The new accounts will also support video, which will include highlights from classic NFL games as well as key plays from this season’s games. Footage from stars like Peyton Manning making his NFL debut is an example of the offerings on the platforms. The NFL’s account on Spotify, as of this posting, has just one song, titled “What Would A Champion Do?” by Sash.

The “What Would A Champion Do?” track is no accident. It was chosen by the NFL as part of the league’s Songs of the Season playlist, which was created after the NFL partnered with Jay-Z in August, to create the Inspire Change initiative. In another tie-in to Jay-Z, the NFL has partnered with Tidal as one of the streaming options, a platform owned by Jay-Z.  

Additional content on the platforms will include NFL 100 Rewind, which will spotlight previous league superstars such as Michael Strahan and Terrell Davis, as the NFL celebrates its 100th season this year. None of the platforms partnering with the NFL in this initiative have announced any plans to increase prices for their offerings as a result of this partnership. 

There is no question that there is an open road now with digital options that all teams and leagues hope to take advantage of in the constant struggle to be present where the potential fans are. In these partnerships, users will now be able to stream digital content in a variety of offerings that will keep fans engaged in the current season, with highlights as well as historical footage, and soon-to-be-updated curated playlists, as the NFL continues to expand its digital footprint. 

With an emerging global audience and being newly partnered with Jay-Z, one of music’s biggest names, the NFL will see how its large content offerings fit within the world of music and streaming audio. While it is not a traditional fit for the sports league, it is a move that is likely to be noted by many other sports properties in the United States, and one that could be yet another revenue outlet in the world of professional sports.