SBD/April 21, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Fox Sports To Make Strong Pitch At Next Month's Upfront Behind NFL, CFB, World Series

Fox this year begins a new six-year, $1.44B deal with the Big Ten
There is about a month before Fox presents its '17-18 upfront slate to advertisers, and the company's sports division "would like media buyers to start looking ahead to the fall," when its NFL, college football and World Series coverage "make the net a must-buy for marketers looking to reach the greatest possible number of consumers at once," according to Anthony Crupi of AD AGE. Fox Sports has "embarked on a sort of home-and-away barnstorming tour of the country's top media-buying agencies." Serving as the "play-by-play man for the bulk" of the company's upfront pitch is Fox Sports President & COO Eric Shanks, who is promoting that Fox' Sunday afternoon NFL slate is "arguably the most desirable football package on the tube." Meanwhile, Fox this year begins a new six-year, $1.44B deal with the Big Ten, that includes the annual Ohio State-Michigan game airing on the net. Fox Sports' current upfront push "marks only the third time the unit has held a series of autonomous agency presentations." The sales team last year "embarked on a six-city tour that touched down in major markets" like Chicago, Dallas and S.F., while a '13 event in N.Y. "served as the coming-out party for the cable network FS1." Fox "traditionally has set aside just a few minutes for sports during its formal mid-May upfront event," but some buyers believe Fox Sports "should assume a far more prominent role" at the May 15 event at N.Y.'s Beacon Theatre (, 4/20).
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