Jordan Love’s First-Round Status Worth $18 Million In Draft-Day Exposure For Utah State

By Daivid Ching of Forbes–The NFL draft process can serve as a months-long commercial for college football programs, providing a valuable opportunity for smaller schools that otherwise do not enjoy the spotlight too often.

This exposure opportunity was particularly great in last week’s draft, where a sports-starved viewing public generated record TV ratings for the networks that carried the event live. However, only one school outside the sport’s traditional power structure was able to successfully reap the benefits of this free advertising.

That school was Utah State, which saw quarterback Jordan Love go 26th overall to the Green Bay Packers in Thursday’s first round. In a draft dominated by major-conference prospects, Love was the only Group of Five player selected in the first round and one of just five from outside the Power Five conferences to be picked in the first two rounds.

The benefit of that draft-day exposure for Utah State? The equivalent to roughly $18 million in advertising spending according to Joyce Julius and Associates, which measures the value colleges gain from prospects’ coverage in TV broadcasts, print media and internet exposure.

“We monitored Utah State’s exposure in relation to Jordan Love for a 24-hour period surrounding the first round of the draft,” explained Joyce Julius director of sponsorship analytics Jeremy Creutz. “Utah State received over eight minutes of exposure on each network that aired the draft (ESPN, ABC, NFL Network). They also received over 3,500 mentions throughout news media (print/internet/TV news) stories and were mentioned within 6,511 social media posts. This provided Utah State with an estimated exposure value of more than $18 million.”

The relative payoff is significantly larger across the entire pre-draft process when a smaller program features an elite prospect – particularly when that prospect is a quarterback.

For example, Wyoming commissioned Joyce Julius to assess the advertising equivalent of quarterback Josh Allen’s media exposure prior to Allen going seventh overall to the Buffalo Bills in the 2018 NFL draft.

Joyce Julius determined that Allen delivered $46 million in media impressions during the 2017 football season alone, and Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman said that he expected the value to double between the end of that season and draft night in April 2018.

“I can’t imagine in the history of the University of Wyoming any one player or situation having greater brand exposure than Josh Allen has had this past year,” Burman said at the time…