"Conversation: Is A Sports Team a Media Vehicle?"

November 15, 2011 by Barrett Davie, EVP & Founder & Eric Smith, VP Venue Partnerships

A conversation between EVP & Founder Barrett Davie and Vice President of Venue Partnerships Eric Smith:


Barrett: I had an interesting discussion the other day with Mike Humes of the Memphis Grizzlies, and the notion of the team, itself, being a media vehicle. We were talking about how popular teams in smaller DMA’s are able to deliver marketers a tremendous amount of reach and, therefore, a greater market penetration of the total audience. 


The team is a media vehicle.  People watch the team, and consume its content, just like any other media vehicle, but with some important, compelling differences. The power that certain teams might add to their sponsorship pitches could be interesting, especially in smaller markets.  If teams take into consideration the share of the market they are reaching in-venue across an entire season, when coupled with our research on unduplicated reach, they could build a compelling argument around the value of that exposure.  This is yet another support point for why a team investment may be more compelling when compared to other media vehicles with which they are competing locally in their markets.


Eric: It's an intriguing concept. Our research on unduplicated reach really does flesh out Mike's point when you look at the data.  The studies show that the average NBA fan goes to a game once every 12 weeks, so a team can assume that its unique attendees over the course of a season will be equal to their average attendance for 12 weeks of home games.  If you look at the teams in the five smallest metro areas in the NBA, their unique annual attendees represent an average of 27% of their respective market populations. Contrast that to the teams in the five largest metro areas, where their unique annual attendees represent an average of 4% of their respective market populations.  


When you consider that fans attending a game invest their time and money in the experience, we could assume that “opt-in” delivers a heightened level of engagement (I do and our independent research is beginning to document this result.)  With that understanding, one could certainly build a compelling case that these smaller market teams may be more relevant and engaging within their hometowns then other media vehicles through which to reach consumers in these markets.  While it is true that, simply based on market size, the larger market teams may have more casual fans or fans who consume the product via traditional media (non-attendees), if an advertiser is looking for targeted engagement and market-wide activation, smaller market teams offer greater penetration than most other available media vehicles.


Barrett: That's a good point. The data is also likely to be useful for these smaller market teams when comparing themselves to other media vehicles in their marketplaces.  My guess is that there are few vehicles (if any) that could deliver a quarter of the market over a three-month period of time in a more engaging and entertaining manner. 


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Who’s the audience?
InStadium reaches up to 20 million receptive, active, and influential adults on a monthly basis. The InStadium audience is 40% female and 60% male and indexes at 118 for adults 21-49. Our audience has an 18% higher mean HHI than that of the general population and indexes at 138 for post-graduate education.
Source: Scarborough Research Release 1 2011
What is the network?
8+ years of building trusted relationships with professional sports and collegiate venues across the country has allowed us to create the InStadium Network.
What's the medium?
Larger-than-life, high definition video with digital surround sound, custom PA announcements, and vibrant, full-color, animated LED rings create an unforgettable brand experience in a dynamic environment.
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