Advertising via Sports Associations

Advertising via Sports Associations

Recently, we were asked by a client how they could become associated with college basketball. They wanted their logo and brand to be associated with a specific local team because both the owner thoroughly enjoyed the sport and his target audience was primarily the same as theirs. It was the price tag that made him take a step back and think about the best strategy.

“Advertising in sports in an emotional buy, ” says Cassie Rogers, Senior Media Buyer.

At the end of the da, the ROI on sports advertising tends to be higher than other placements, but business owners are willing to pay those prices because they are loyal fans.


Television is the primary medium for sports, but tosports marketingurnaments and big games are carried by one station in the market which leads to a higher price tag and limits spot availability. During the college basketball national championship, a spot in the Louisville market is about $15K, that is well above the price of a regular season game or local news show. On the other hand, viewership during and around the game increased by an estimated 3-fold.

The math isn’t exactly on your side, as the business owner. At Media Venue; however, we can create combination packages to capitalize on the higher viewership ratings at a more reasonable price. Rather than spending all that money on one spot, we will look at other areas such as commercials during specials and newscasts pre- and post-NCAA game. We recently priced a package for $7K (1/2 the price) and received 9 spots all in programming around the College Basketball tournament. Many loyal fans are hanging on for more, so the first commercial break after a game can be of great value with a smaller price tag.


Radio can also be a choice for the sports fan business owner. Football is most recommended here due to the game schedules and tailgating culture. Radio, in general, is cheaper than television but reaches consumers on the go. Many cities will even have a station that carries a sports specific show, these listeners are usually very loyal and the host covers a variety of sports.


NEW YORK - APRIL 02:  Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees throws some warm up pitches during a Yankees workout at the new Yankee Stadium on April 2, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)


Another popular place for sources of affiliation is in the arena/field. Cost vary greatly here but often longer contracts (1-year average) are required. You can choose specifically where you want your ad to be placed such as the scoreboard, kid zone and more.  These types of buys are great for brand awareness and larger businesses due to the home demographics of the crowd.

Social Media

One newer element to consider is social media. Use the business page to enhance your other campaigns, which posts such as “catch our jingle in the U of L game on tonight WDRB”. It creates a reminder of association. You could also offer a special based on the event. One expert at this here in Louisville is Papa Johns, they often run promotions during game days to save a percentage and offer an extra coupon if a shot is made or score is met. This is all part of their overall strategy to align with sports. If you’re looking to reach new sports fans, take advantage and run a paid ad during the time around a game, when social activity spikes due to the sports-centered conversation.

Unless you’re advertising budget is well above the 6-figure mark, it isn’t wise to waste your money, making strategy a strong must. At Media Venue, we want to partner with you to create a strategy that satisfies your budget but brings success. We are here to help you get the most bang for your ad bucks.