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Game On: Sports Meets Streaming in the Biggest Playoffs of the Year
Advertisers eye Connected TV during this year’s sporting events
Written by Melissa Yap
When news broke about Amazon’s $1 Billion deal with the NFL to host “Thursday Night Football” on Prime Video, it confirmed what we were already thinking during last month’s Super Bowl – that advertisers are reevaluating linear TV’s value as a branding channel and are making the shift to streaming. Sports have always been a mainstay of linear TV and has lacked a major streaming presence, but that’s changing. Case in point, NCAA March Madness kicked off last week, and unveiled a new multi-platform viewing experience that integrates with Connected TV devices like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox One and Google TV, to elevate the user experience and give them access (and more options) to live coverage of the games.
John Bogusz, CBS Network Executive Vice President of Sports Sales and Marketing, said that marketers are spending on sports programming, with insurance and automotive sectors fueling this year’s tournament. According to The Trade Desk, almost 39% of sports viewers are now watching live sports events via Connected TV, such as ad-supported streaming platforms – with more to come as live sports comes back after pandemic induced hibernation. This signals a new dawn for networks, advertisers, and sports organizations, as sports has traditionally been seen as a broadcast-only play, not to mention one of the last roadblocks standing in the way of transforming Linear TV audiences into cord-cutters. Now that sports is moving to streaming, all bets are off. Sports has always been seen as valuable in the scope of television and advertising, but even more so with Connected TV in the mix. Gone are the days of shelling out the big bucks for little return (worse still, negative brand sentiment), since Connected TV advertising offers a much better deal.
On our own home turf, we’ve seen advertisers explore Connected TV advertising and align their campaign efforts with major sporting events. One such e-commerce marketplace client ran a Connected TV spot for their sneakers, which aired during last year’s NBA finals and targeted in-market audiences including sneakerheads, NBA, and football fans. This generated over 11x ROAS and a low Cost Per Acquisition of $21.83. We’ve even ran our own ad spot during the World Series, and raised awareness among our key prospects in the process, without having to spend a ridiculous amount on broadcast television. These are testaments to the fact advertisers can successfully take advantage of major sporting events on Connected TV, and be able to accurately measure their campaign’s performance. That just would not be possible on linear television.
One thing is for sure: the emergence and growth of streaming isn’t letting up, and broadcast televisions reign over sporting events may soon be over. In the meantime, you’ll find us tuning into this month’s March Madness on our Connected TV devices – may the best team win.
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