May 15, 2024 - Sports

What to expect on football's May "holiday"

Illustration of a hand-shaped cursor about to throw a football

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Football manages to dominate the internet on a random day in May each year.

Why it matters: "The schedule release has become somewhat of a holiday to NFL fans," Jason Lavine, vice president of content and production for the Los Angeles Chargers, told Axios.

How it works: A couple of weeks after the draft, the NFL releases its schedule for the upcoming season.

  • The league's 32 teams usually take this opportunity to share their itinerary with a creative social media video.

The fanfare has grown with the popularity of short-form content on X (Twitter), Instagram and TikTok.

Behind the scenes: Lavine says the Chargers focus on concepts that are funny, short and disruptive enough to stand out.

  • They have found success over the last two seasons with videos based on popular Japanese anime franchises. "Typically, we do the opposite of what people think we're going to do."

Last year, the Tennessee Titans' social media team won a Nashville/Midsouth Emmy for their video which has over 30 million views on X.

  • And the Jacksonville Jaguars' video featuring "Ghosts" star Asher Grodman was nominated for a Webby Award.

Context: Since the league's schedule is by far the shortest (17 regular-season games) among the four major pro sports, there's a built-in advantage to try to be a part of the conversation during a time in which there aren't any games on.

Teams have months to produce these videos with the benefit of knowing the next season's opponents as soon as their season ends in January or February, depending on playoff results.

Yes, but: They don't know when or where they'll play each opponent until the NFL tells them.

  • "We've had [the schedule] as little as three hours in advance, sometimes a day, it just depends on the league," said Lavine.

What's next: The 2024 NFL schedule will be available at 8pm ET Wednesday.

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