couple watching sports on their couch at home

Are Your Marketing Dollars Worth Investing in Large Sporting Events?

It’s August 2021. The 2020 Olympics have just ended, baseball is heating up, basketball summer league is in full swing and soon football will be upon us. So is advertising on sporting event broadcasts and the right fit for your business the most effective use of your dollars?

There is no denying that high-profile sporting events can draw large audiences. That’s why large national advertisers often have no problem with the high price tag. For brands that count just about everyone as potential customers, making a large investment to get in front of as many people as possible can make a lot of sense.

Even then, it’s worth noting that sporting events have seen a dip in audience over the past few years from what they were.

sports fans at a game

Understanding the Shifts in Large Sporting Event Viewership

  • The 2021 NBA finals of the Suns and the Bucks averaged nearly 9 million viewers compared to the 2019 NBA finals which averaged between 13-14 million.
  • The Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony drew a U.S. broadcast audience of 16.7 million, that is the lowest since the 1988 Seoul Olympics’ (22.7 million). Compared to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (34.9 million), the 2012 Olympics in London (40.7 million), and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (26.5 million).
    So that gives big brands something to consider.

How about regional and local companies? The companies who need every marketing dollar to work as hard as it can to generate leads?

If you’re a business that depends on constant lead generation and a strong ROI, you have to give careful consideration before investing dollars in sporting events. A large investment may buy only a few spots. These could generate a lot of one-time reach, but not a lot of lasting impact.

Spending a similar amount on a strategic media schedule can maximize and balance the reach and frequency over an extended period. That same spend will typically allow your message to be seen by a large audience more consistently. And, since not everyone may be in the market for your services at exactly the same time, a longer presence may give you a better chance to be “in the right place at the right time” with your potential customers.

couple watching sports on their couch at home

Local Sports Support and Impact

There’s no question that aligning your brand with a local sports team can deliver great recognition and exposure. The right messaging can even help build trust among a large audience of fans.

But before making a significant investment and committing a large portion of a marketing budget to a campaign on sports media, be sure to do your homework. Review and compare what that same budget might deliver for you with a longer-term strategy. Focusing on a consistent market presence could extend the life of your messaging, reach a larger portion of your audience and increase the frequency that you’re seen by potential customers.

Have questions? Let RCG help evaluate your media investment and give you recommendations on when sports media packages and strategies might make sense.

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