SBD/November 10, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBA Lockout Watch, Day 133: NBA Advertisers Not Running For The Hills Yet

Brody notes there are other places advertisers can turn to during the lockout
The NBA canceled all November games, but ad spending on the NBA “is heavily back-loaded to the second half of the season and the playoffs, when ratings and fan interest surge,” according to Dan Hirschhorn of AD AGE. ESPN is “shifting early-season ad dollars into its menu of college football and basketball games,” while Turner is “eyeing avenues such as TBS and Adult Swim programming to keep the ad spending in-house.” Thus far, there is “no indication that advertisers are running much for the hills.” Peter Farnsworth, a former NBA exec who heads sports marketing firm Foxrock Partners and advises league advertisers, said, "There's not that many people lying awake at night worrying about this. With the NFL, people would have been rushing Capitol Hill." While major sponsors with integrated league-branding deals and RSNs are “more exposed to a long lockout, most advertisers have more flexibility, especially early in the season.” Wasserman Media Group Principal John Brody said, "Right now there's a lot of other content to purchase. There are other places you can get those ratings points back." Horizon Media Senior VP & Dir of Research Brad Adgate said, "The NBA just pales in comparison to the NFL, so that's why we're seeing a disparity in the reaction to a potential NBA lockout vs. an NFL lockout. You're not going to really feel the loss of the NBA until the Super Bowl is over" (ADAGE.com, 11/9).
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