Many brands are willing to pay through the roof for a chance to advertise in live televised sporting events. The Superbowl, for example, provides an opportunity for brands to fight for attention on a large global platform, at $4.5 million per 30 second spot! We imagine spots during this summer’s euros aren’t much cheaper.
The advertisement market during big sporting events is so convoluted that it’s hard for a brand to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed. So how can they stand out? We would argue that making sharable content is the answer. It can be produced at a fraction of the price, and if done well can reach a far wider audience. However, stupidly there aren’t many brands that take the same stance, they’re stuck in their ways, huge media budgets and boring content.
Even the fans are doing sharable content better than brands. For example the Dortmund tennis ball protest and other similar campaigns speaking out in an effort to reduce ticket price and remind their clubs that they are “supporters, not customers” . Perhaps companies who value targeting fans should focus on involving potential consumers in viral activations, ensuring that those who are light viewers of TV are interacting with their brand.
Sports organisations that have benefitted from making shareable content in the past have included World Rugby and do Recife. World Rugby engaged fans by creating the World’s largest rugby scrum, a new guinness world record consisting of 1,008 people was made to mark the day tickets went on sale for the world cup. Additionally, do Recife recently won awards for their promotional attempt at ending supporter violence by inviting the mothers of 33 hooligans to help with the security during the most violent game of the season. Images of mothers in high vis jackets watching the games with their sons went viral and not a single fight broke out. Both of these events reached a wide audience without spending vast amounts of money on ad spaces. We wonder why large consumer brands are not keen to break out from billboards and ad slots and do something different.
The Premier League continues to be the most watched football league in the world with a TV audience of close to 5 billion. This sort of viewership make the league worth billions, 5.14 billion to be precise. The astronomical price the hosting platforms are willing to pay has a knock on effect right down to the consumer. It means brands have to pay more for an ad break slot, but less people are watching because sport streaming services like BT and Sky are also increasing their prices. So brands are paying more money for less exposure.
We arrest our case….