3 Plays to Help Your Local Business Tackle Sports Advertising
I’m a sports fan – and not unique in that respect.
While I’m not the face-painting and shirtless in 10 degrees below zero at a football game type, I am one who appreciates sports as a series of dramatic live moments, seasonal hope-filled highs and lows and morning office chatter that often kicks off with “Did you see that play?!” Even the out-of-town logo on my ball cap can spark an instant, emotionally driven conversation with a stranger who has also lived and died by that same team. Sports have undoubtedly become a powerful uniting force for many of us. It’s become a great shiny object not only for fans like me but also for businesses who get their brand into the “sports conversation.”
Unfortunately, too many small local business owners are under the impression that the “sports conversation” is exclusive to big league players. Well, read on! You’ll be surprised to learn that advertising small local businesses alongside sports is not out of reach. There are opportunities for local business owners to expose sports enthusiasts to their local brand and connect with their local market audience. Here are a few plays to consider:
OPENING KICK - SPORTS VIDEO & YOUR BRAND
Do you watch online video? (Think: Anything from sports highlights to how-to videos to full shows.) We're willing to bet you do. In fact, daily video consumption across all devices is set to hit over 72 minutes a day per person in 2017. Ever notice those online commercials that play before the video you are looking for – the ones where (most of the time) you can’t skip them? Did you know that they are not just for national big businesses – that in fact, they are tailor made for even the smallest of local businesses? Here’s how to go on the offensive:
RUN THIS PLAY:
Create a commercial for your business (either use a TV commercial you already have, or contact Cox Media to help produce a video). Those ads can run before sports highlight clips and such – and even better – can target people who’ve recently visited competitor’s websites – an advertising home run if there ever was one.
FULL COURT PRESS - CABLE TV COMMERCIALS ARE PERFECTLY PRICED FOR SMALL & LOCAL BUSINESSES
How much do you think it costs for 30 seconds tonight in your city on a cable sports network, say NBCSports, to advertise your local business?
I typically get two answers, the runner-up being “about $10k or $20k?” The winner by far, however, usually involves a guess that brings the Super Bowl into the mix – as that specific sports event is many people’s first thought when it comes to TV advertising – that giant “$5 million plus for 30 seconds” number. The truth is, both are way off! In fact, the cost is closer to the price of a few tubes of tennis balls.
RUN THIS PLAY:
Contact your local cable advertising division and get the real story. (Trust me, you’ll have a “No way!” type moment when you find out.) There is an abundance of great programming around cable TV sports-rich events, like March Madness for example. Better yet, 95% of sports viewing is watched LIVE so if you're worried about recording-types who skip the commercials – you can send that concern to the showers. Find out how much it is to produce a commercial for TV and then let your advertising partner do the rest of the work in creating that perfect message to run alongside powerful sports programming. Click here to see some options.
FINAL LAP - TARGET SPORTS FANS WHERE THEY ARE WITH MOBILE ADVERTISING
Let’s say you are at a sports event – maybe at a crowded race track or perhaps even a local high school football game. Did you know that you can draw a line on a map and deliver your message at a specific time and date to mobile phones in those places? As people tune into their mobile phones looking at scores of other games, the weather, texting, you name it, your ad can show up on their mobile device.
The stats are just as powerful for the home viewer – 78% of whom go on the internet while watching sports on TV, typically with a mobile device.
RUN THIS PLAY:
Ask your advertising partner about targeting specific places the fervent fan may be. For example, if you run a local golf course, think about delivering a special play offer to people frequenting golf equipment stores and/or local golf events (and they don’t have to be professional events, local amateur events can be fruitful as well). And as for the home viewers, perhaps they are checking their sports apps for leaderboard positions or even fantasy rankings – you can place your ads here as well.
Thankfully, there is no final buzzer to end the games of advertising in sports – when you look at the sports calendar, there year-round opportunities to use sports to tackle your audience – the key is to get creative with a partner who is local (because they may have access to/knowledge of local opportunities even you may not be aware of), and also has tremendous experience when it comes to advertising in sports. Click here to kick off a successful run in sports for your brand.
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