SBD/March 4, 2011/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
Turner Sports and CBS Sports starting Friday rolled out a unified multiplatform marketing campaign to promote their coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The effort will feature a full-length music video featuring Kings of Leon, who will perform the song "The Immortals" off their new CD "Come Around Sundown." The video debuted Friday nationally across 5,800 movie screens, and will run until March 17. The Turner/CBS campaign concludes when Kings of Leon headlines a concert series at the Final Four in Houston on April 2 (Turner Sports). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Lacey Rose noted to supplement the theatrical push, the campaign "will make its way to digital billboards, elevator ads, cable, radio, print and the Web." The networks also will "leverage their own channels, including CNN, HLN and CBS Radio, along with those airing the games, to lure eyeballs" to the tournament. Turner Sports Senior VP/Strategy, Marketing & Programming Christina Miller: "When you take a band like Kings of Leon and you marry that with [the] NCAA tournament, it gives a really strong voice to the feeling and the high energy of March Madness. ... It really gives an iconic soundtrack to the marketing campaign, and it’s a way to make it memorable" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 3/3).
An NFL lockout "would jeopardize the more than $3 billion a year that advertisers spend for commercials during NFL games," according to analysts cited by Lauren Schuker of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. One media exec said that advertisers "could move their dollars to other 'marquee' programming such as college football, golf or prime-time dramas and situation-comedies, but there likely wouldn't be enough ad inventory to absorb that money." Some advertisers "might also choose simply not to spend." Most marketers "won't commit to NFL advertising until April or May, when the networks usually sell commercial spots for the coming season." If the NFL "still hasn't reached a deal with its players by later this spring, advertisers could delay buying for the season until later in the summer." But media execs and analysts said that marketers are "still likely to commit to buying spots on the NFL games." And in the case of a lockout, marketers "could always try to shuffle those ad dollars elsewhere" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/4). MEDIAWEEK's Anthony Crupi wrote the NFL "plays such a critical role in the TV marketplace as a whole that even the loss of a handful of games could have a catastrophic impact on the spring upfront." One sports sales exec said that the "hard-won lessons" of NFL work stoppages in '82 and '87 "were not likely to be forgotten." The exec: "As was proven in the past, replacement programming doesn't work. It became a landscape of illegitimate sports. College football would be the first to benefit." Crupi wrote in a "full-on apocalypse scenario, the broadcasters would stand to lose" 25-30% of their Q4 ratings points in adults 18-49. And while "football-targeted dollars would likely fall to college games, the NHL and baseball, sponsors with a marked NFL presence would need to shift money to prime-time entertainment" (MEDIAWEEK.com, 3/3).
HITTING THEM WHERE IT HURTS: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman notes the NFL "makes money from three main sources -- tickets sales, broadcast fees and corporate sponsors." A lockout, if it occurred, "would likely have a drastic effect on ticket revenue and money from sponsorships, as the league is forced to cancel games and companies take their sports-marketing dollars elsewhere." For sponsors and broadcast companies, "losing the NFL would mean losing the most reliable, albeit expensive, tool for reaching TV's largest audience" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/4). Baker Street Advertising Exec VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said that if a lockout does happen, the networks will have "big chunks of time to fill with programming that ... 'will be nowhere near as valuable as football games'" (CNNMONEY.com, 3/3).
Knicks fans' reaction to the team's trade for F Carmelo Anthony "has been anything but Melo," according to Ian Begley of ESPN N.Y. Modell's Sporting Goods Senior VP/Marketing Jed Berger indicated that the retailer is "selling Knicks apparel at a rate not seen since the team's run to the NBA Finals in 1999." Berger: "Customer demand hasn't been like this in a long time. It's been unbelievably intense since Carmelo arrived." In addition, MSG's team store was "packed at halftime" of Wednesday's Hornets-Knicks game. A store manager and security guard "kept 20 people waiting in line outside to avoid a fire-code violation." Inside, the "authentic Anthony jerseys, selling for about $250 a pop, seemed to be the hottest item." A store manager said that "about half of the jerseys in the store for that night had been sold before halftime." An MSG spokesperson indicated that the Knicks have "sold more than 4,000 units of Melo merchandise at the Garden and on the team's website." Also, an NBAStore.com employee noted that fans who "ordered Anthony jerseys through the NBA Store's website will have to wait eight to nine weeks for their shipment." Jerseys are "being produced in China and will be shipped overseas in bulk to fill the large demand." In addition, Begley noted TV ratings for Anthony's four Knicks games before Wednesday night's win over the Hornets have "set or approached station records," and industry researchers said that "ticket prices for the remaining Knicks home games have increased by more than 85 percent since Anthony's arrival" (ESPNNY.com, 3/3).