Instagram Is the NFL’s Pick for a Draft Day Digital Shopping Initiative

Geoff Levy will capture each selection wearing his new team’s New Era hat

Instagram shopping tags will bring fans to the NFL Shop NFL/Instagram

The National Football League and Instagram are teaming up on a digital shopping experience tied to one of the league’s biggest events: the NFL Draft, which will take place in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday through Saturday (April 25 through 27).

After every selection, fashion photographer Geoff Levy will capture images of each draftee wearing his new team’s New Era Draft Day hat. New Era is one of the league’s partners.

Those images will then be shared to the NFL’s Instagram account, complete with shopping tags, enabling fans to purchase gear via the NFL Shop and connect with the league’s next wave of players.

The hats will sell for $30 to $38.

NFL senior vice president of social and influence marketing Ian Trombetta told Todd Spangler of Variety, “We’re able to merge commerce with our social platforms in a very organic way. It has a lot of benefit to our partner—New Era, in this case—and we want to be at the front of the line when it comes to initiatives like this.”

Instagram pointed to the crossovers between fashion and sports on its platform, such as athletes showing off their fashionable sides and becoming influencers of sorts for designers, as well as to fashion subcultures including streetwear and sneakerheads.

The Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network said 130 million people tap to reveal shopping tags each month, and one-third of its global community follows at least one sports account, adding that some 80% of the sports accounts followed on its platform are those of athletes.

As for the NFL, it was the first sports league to share game recaps via Facebook in 2017, and it will be the first partner to take advantage of shoppable moments on Instagram.

What are the league’s goals for this initiative? Trombetta told Spangler, “The NFL doesn’t have specific benchmarks for measuring the success of the Instagram draft-day execution. The idea is to drive engagement and excitement about the players.”

NFL/Instagram David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.