Digitally Activated: Sports Centered

A Look at Online Sports Activations

The NFL Lockout is Almost Over… Advertisers Please Return

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The end of the NFL lockout will drive fans to the NFL sections of leading sports websites.  Fans want to know what the new CBA means for their team, and will consume massive amounts of content that focuses on the start on free agency.  However – to my surprise –  I could not find one advertising campaign that was targeted to the NFL sections of ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, NBCsports.com or CBSsports.com.

The What

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* ESPN and Yahoo delivered value to their Fantasy League sponsors by promoting their game with fixed placements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* NBCsports.com’s, Pro Football Talk had RON and house ads on its site, while CBS promoted its non-sponsored fantasy leagues.

The Opportunity

Premium inventory at a non-premium price.

Visitors to these sites this week are avid fans.  They are looking for details on the final days of negotiations, and how the new CBA will affect their team’s ability to retain their star players and address their needs in free agency.  These are the types of fans that NFL league sponsors should be using their IP rights to target.

To make my suggested media buy, a sponsor would have needed a strong inclination that the lockout would be approaching its end.  To think that a well connected marketing executive would have this knowledge is not unfathomable (see: Ponturo, Tony). According to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, it was all but a given that the lockout would be over in time to a guarantee a full training camp.  If you had this knowledge as a league sponsor, why would you not risk buying media around the last two weeks of July and into August at a discounted price?

We are about to enter one of the most talked about free agency periods of our lifetime.  It would have been fun to see how a brand could have used original creative and a targeted message to connect with the excitement surronding the return of the National Football League.

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Written by Peter Amador

July 21, 2011 at 1:00 AM

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