Touchdown! How Your Brand Can Score Big with the NFL, TV, OTT, & Digital

| August 26, 2019

With millions of weekly viewers, how will your brand reach sports fans during the upcoming NFL and college football seasons? We’ve got a few solid offenses to try. 

Is your brand ready for some football? The NFL and College football seasons are one of the most coveted programming opportunities for advertisers during the year. That’s because Americans watch a LOT of TV, and spend even more time watching sports.

What’s the best way to reach these sports fans with messages about your brand? A unique marketing mix of broadcast TV, streaming, and digital assets designed to differentiate your brand while engaging fans could take your brand off the sidelines and into the Super Bowl.

Football has a HUGE TV & OTT Audience

In 2018, boosted by the Winter Olympics and the Men’s World Cup, viewers watched more than one trillion minutes of sports on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, and NBC Sports Network. Break those numbers down further, you’ll see 437 billion minutes were devoted to the NFL and college football regular seasons.

To make advertising alongside NFL content move even before more inviting, its TV ratings rose 5% in 2018 with an average game bringing in 15.8 million viewers. Streaming viewership grew 86% in 2018 as well. To top everything off, the Super Bowl was the top single telecast in 2018.

What TV Options Are Available?

Like drawing up a playbook, there are several options to get your brand in the endzone and doing the Ickey Shuffle. Utilizing local TEGNA stations, advertisers can run 30-second commercials during a game’s broadcast, and now with new Attribution technology (available in select markets) advertisers can link ad views to outcomes, meaning they can know who viewed an ad, then entered a physical location such as a brick-and-mortar store or visited their website. 

As our own VP of Sales Intelligence, Jessica Daigle told Beet.TV, “Advertisers are really looking to buy outcomes. You want to make sure that your local grocery chain or furniture store is actually making money, that business is thriving, and that the community is thriving.” With TV and Broadcast options with TEGNA Marketing Solutions, you’re able to do both. 

Advertisers can also sponsor football and other sports-related content, like this example out of WGRZ in Buffalo, New York. Brands could also consider sponsoring weather and traffic reports on game days, or create their own custom campaign for increased visibility among local sports fans. 

  • –> Leverage our unique blend of content and influence to connect with the right audience at the right time for you and your brand. Click here to get started.

Digital Elements & The Second Screen 

While the audience on the big screen is huge, sports fans are also big on using “the second screen” which means that while they’re watching the game, they’re messaging friends, watching highlights, checking scores and fantasy standings. This presents a multitude of digital opportunities to reach sports fans, as stats from Nielsen show: 

  • – 71% of TV viewers use their phones to look up something related to the content they’re viewing.
  • – 41% will text, email, or message someone about the content they’re viewing.
  • – 35% of TV viewers will shop for a product or service being advertised.
  • – 28% will interact with social media posts about the content they’re viewing. 

What Second Screen Options are Available? 

According to Pew research, local TV is still the most common way for Americans to get their news. On top of that, Poynter found that 76% of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in their local TV news stations. It’s also true that when 71% of viewers want to know more about a particular story, they’re turning to their local station’s website and/or apps to get that information from a trusted source.

With this in mind, we recommend digital ads within local TEGNA news stations’ websites and apps. Local TEGNA stations reach an average of 35 million digitally each month, and ads placed here come in a variety of forms including display ads, pre-roll digital video, and act as the perfect digital complement to TV ad campaigns.

TEGNA stations can also brag about 22 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so adding social media into the advertising mix could further expand the audience you can potentially reach. A customized digital advertising mix with TEGNA Marketing Solutions could be the extra push you need to get into the endzone. For more on how to effectively reach an audience on the second screen, click here.

Location & Event Targeting

In 2018, the NFL averaged an attendance of 67,100. These fans aren’t in front of the TV screen, but they still have their phones. While these fans are second-screening, advertisers using Event and Location Targeting with Geofencing have yet another opportunity to reach a wide audience.  

It works like this: As an advertiser, you can draw a geofence around a specific event or location – in this case, it could be the stadium and surrounding areas – and target those in the area with mobile ads. When a consumer enters this geofenced area, they’ll be put into a pool of users that can be targeted and served with your mobile ads. 

How can you tell if your ads are working? 

Geofencing also allows advertisers to set up what’s called a Conversion Zone, which is a customizable area recognizes who has been served location-targeted ads then visited your storefront or desired conversion location. 

As an example, let’s say you’re a sportswear retailer in Denver located near the Broncos’ stadium. You could draw a geofence around the stadium and target attendees with mobile ads for football jerseys and equipment, for up to 30 days. Then, thanks to Location Targeting technology, when they visit your store and buy a jersey, you’ll be able to attribute conversions to your Location Targeting campaign. 

  • –> To learn more about Location Targeting and find out how TEGNA Marketing Solutions can help your brand, click here.

What’s in Your Playbook? We Can Help!

Now that you’ve reviewed the Xs and Os, what plays will you run? A combination of Linear, OTT, Digital, and Location Targeting are just a few options to reach a sports-loving audience, and the experts at TEGNA Marketing Solutions are ready to help craft a campaign that fits your brand’s unique needs. Click here to learn more about TEGNA Marketing Solutions and find out how together, we can create a winning strategy. 

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