In an effort to open up to fans, the league will field current and former players, executives, personnel and fans to be grilled by Reddit users in a free form chat at least once per month, supported by a digital video series which will be distributed via Reddit as well as the NFL’s social channels, website and TV network.
Crucially the format permits controversial topics to be broached, exposing guests to a litany of potentially awkward questions about refereeing, political activism and racism.
Blake Stuchin, vice president of digital media business development for the NFL, remarked: “Generally, the participants will be representing themselves, first and foremost, and not necessarily the views of the NFL,” Mr. Stuchin said. “But the bulk of the conversations we have seen on Reddit—and the bulk of what people generally want to talk about—is core football. Anything beyond that, it’s no different than the comments we see on any user-generated or social platform.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the NFL will not pay any fee to Reddit but has agreed to share any sponsorship revenues generated by the material.
The Reddit reveal comes as one of the most visible efforts yet by the sport to improve its standing among young people and follows on from a similar partnership with social video tool TikTok.
Reddit claims to draw 8.8m visitors to its football-related pages each month while the NFL’s online forum counts 1.4m members.