The NFL has at long last decided to allow energy drink brands to advertise during televised football games, as well as on all NFL owned-and-operated media. While they will be able to run commercials, energy drink companies will not be allowed to become official sponsors of the NFL, an category that is reserved for healthy, responsible food and beverage options, like beer, candy, pizza, soda, canned soup, potato chips, and yogurt.
Sports Business Journal reports that energy drink companies will be allowed to advertise during a one-year probationary period, with the NFL reviewing and approving each individual request. Drinks can not claim they improve athletic performance (something Red Bull learned the hard way), cannot promote the mixing of their drinks with liquor, and cannot be classified as dietary or nutritional supplements.
The NFL has been loosening their advertising advertising rules over the past few years. In 2018, liquor brands, casinos, and online fantasy sites that that operate sports books were added to the list of approved advertisers. Earlier this year the NFL would allow active players to appear in alcohol advertisements, though that is a privilege reserved for official sponsors such as Anhueser-Busch In Bev.