SBJ/March 26 - April 1, 2001/This Weeks Issue

Top sports advertisers spent $3.1B in 2000

The Sydney Olympics and the strongest advertising market in history helped sports programming attract a record $3.1 billion from the top 50 sports advertisers last year, up 29.5 percent from 1999, according to Nielsen Media Research figures.

The top 17 advertisers in sports programming all increased their spending over 1999, and four companies — IBM Corp., Chrysler/Plymouth, Charles Schwab & Co. and Coca-Cola Co. — more than doubled their spending.

On the backs of large Olympic buys, both IBM and Coca-Cola shot into the top 10. Once again, Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet and Ford were ranked one, two and three, respectively.

Anheuser-Busch and Chevrolet, both Olympic sponsors, increased their sports spending by more than 35 percent.

Will these sort of increases continue? Well, have you taken a look at the Nasdaq lately?

Media buyers say 2001 spending levels won't approach last year's.

"A year ago just getting on the air was a challenge," said Tom McGovern, director of sports marketing at Omnicom's OMD USA, which handles media buying for Pepsi-Cola, Federal Express, McDonald's and Gillette. "This year, there's inventory across the board in every day part."

He noted that CBS has been selling advertising slots during the NCAA men's basketball tournament up to the last minute.

However, the sports marketplace does have one potential ace in the hole, said Liz Silver, senior vice president of advertising and brand management at Visa USA. It's the potential writers strike in Hollywood, which could make live sports the only fresh programming to hit the airwaves this fall.

"If it looks like there's not going to be any new prime-time programming until well into the fourth quarter, I think advertisers will go [to sports]," she said. "It's a time of year that most big national advertisers rely on, and they have to find their audience."

She said the market is difficult to predict, but Visa expects to maintain its 2000 spending levels this year on NASCAR, the NFL and horse racing. But the absence of Olympic Games will decrease the total sports spending considerably.

Ranked by percentage of ad spending
devoted to sports
TOP FIVE COMPANIES
Company
Total sports
ad spending
2000 (000s)
Total ad
spending
2000 (000s)
% of total
ad spending
devoted
to sports
Adidas USA
$35,594.95
$36,406.39
97.8%
United Airlines Inc.
$33,088.58
$34,250.29
96.6%
Southwest Airlines Co.
$59,607.25
$62,810.87
94.9%
Miller Brewing Co.
$98,320.69
$106,896.96
92.0%
Anheuser-Busch Cos.
$233,958.02
$269,199.36
86.9%
 
COMPANIES RANKED 46-50
WorldCom Inc.
$58,603.40
$273,402.77
21.4%
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
$43,763.13
$204,382.47
21.4%
GlaxoSmithKline
Consumer Healthcare
$34,633.54
$214,697.53
16.1%
McDonald's Corp.
$64,181.44
$416,607.53
15.4%
Burger King Corp.
$34,337.63
$339,543.15
10.1%
Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal research

 

Ranked by percent change in spending
1999-2000
BIGGEST INCREASE
Company
Total sports
ad spending
2000 (000s)
Total sports
ad spending
1999 (000s)
Percent
Change
IBM
$114,533.21
$41,792.07
174.1%
Chrysler/Plymouth Division
$67,911.29
$26,429.82
156.9%
Charles Schwab & Co.
$78,247.72
$38,018.12
105.8%
Coca-Cola USA
$88,209.44
$44,007.09
100.4%
Saturn Corp.
$52,815.61
$30,341.47
74.1%
 
BIGGEST DECREASE
(AMONG THE TOP 50 SPENDERS)
Telecom USA Inc.
$37,027.41
$61,411.63
-39.7%
Oldsmobile Division
$36,790.46
$44,417.44
-17.2%
Burger King Corp.
$34,337.63
$39,914.08
-14.0%
Dodge Car-Truck Division
$58,656.65
$66,977.43
-12.4%
WorldCom Inc.
$58,603.40
$60,921.15
-3.8%
Sources: Nielsen Media Research, Street & Smith's
SportsBusiness Journal research

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