This is a great time to stand up for your brand with sports marketing. Sports offer an engaged audience that watches your message in real time. There are ways to maximize your effectiveness without breaking the bank.

  1. ZONE INTO GREAT OPPORTUNITIES – Television offers great possibilities for big sports, but did you know many big sports can be priced to fit your budget? If the program is on cable, you can choose an area of the metro area and get it for a fraction of the price. Let’s take Monday Night Football, for example. Normally, a message on ESPN would cost an advertiser around $5,500. But if you zone it, you can get the same message for under $1,000. While it will only reach part of the metro area, the viewers who see it will not notice any difference.
  1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – If the sports broadcast you are eyeing is out of reach financially, consider buying the program that immediately follows it. Often times, the last break of the sports cast is at a reduced rate. The program that follows it is generally even less. The ratings or viewership often sticks with the last break or into the next program. For instance, the NFC Championship that aired last week did a whopping 38 rating with adults 25-54. The last break was a 30 rating. The post-game, held that rating, as well. Keep in mind, the pregame only did a 3, so the same logic does not apply to programs or breaks that precede the action.
  1. KEEP A SLUSH FUND- If you understand the rhythms of supply and demand when it comes to media, clients and their agencies can cash in on big discounts. It’s like airline seats. When the plane leaves, the seats will never provide revenue to the carrier. It works the same way with TV stations…especially in January, which happens to be a HUGE sports month with the NFL in playoff mode. This year, we were able to get great deals and great ratings on AFC playoff games. It may not have featured our hometown favorite, the Arizona Cardinals, but we were able to buy some great Denver Broncos games. We bought these games at half the price of other advertisers two days before the games, as the logs were closing.
  1. PRODUCE DIFFERENT COMMERCIAL LENGTHS – We always advise our clients to produce: 15s,:10s or :05s. Sometimes television stations have availability in one of those lengths that they can’t sell. We did end up buying a coveted message for our hometown Cardinals’ game. A: 30 was quoted north of $60,000. It was not in my client’s budget. Of course, Super Bowl sized ratings were predicted for this game at a 32 rating. We then found out the station had three :05 avails- for which they wanted to offer the ‘bargain’ rate of $15,000. We told them to contact us if the rate went to $7,500. We had the message ready to go.

They did and we bought. The game did a record setting 37 and the client snagged a great deal. But he had this spot length available, which is harder to sell at the last minute.

  1. CONSIDER GEOFENCING- What if I told you we could draw a ring around any sporting event, stadium or arena, and we could send digital messages to everyone who looked at their phones? This is one of the greatest digital innovations of the recent past, and it can be tracked with analytics; coupons get opportunities. The average cost-per-thousand impressions are between $5 and $15, and can depend on the selected radius and what targeting you would like to use.