Settle in, Fans and Brands, for 2012 and Beyond

January 6, 2012 by Dave Kissel, President & CEO, InStadium

If you’re a sports fan and have held back on buying a new jersey of your favorite team, or game tickets, or face paint, don’t worry; it’s now safe to take the plunge on those purchases. 


2011 has been an exceptional, uncertain year on the labor side of sports.  In just the past 12 months, we saw the NFL and NBA lockouts causing temporary disruption to two of America’s most popular leagues, and Major League Baseball signing a new collective bargaining agreement through 2016.  That leaves the NHL as the only one of the major four pro sports leagues with an impending collective bargaining agreement set to expire, which it will in September, 2012.  Expect the NHL and its players to ink a long-term deal; the pain of the cancelled 2005 season is too fresh, and the prospect of another one too costly, to go that way this time. 


What does this mean for us fans?  We can settle back in to our familiar, sports-crazed routines.   Because now, and for the foreseeable future, we’ll be able to enjoy our teams and leagues without fear of interruption for many seasons to come.  But just as that thought is comforting us fans who follow sports, it’s also welcome relief to the marketers of brands who increasingly see the value of sports.  For many brands, the audiences that watch sports wield so much buying power, that reaching and connecting with them can mean the difference between achieving their business objectives or not.


With labor agreements in place, the television contracts are starting to follow.  Earlier this month, the NFL extended league television contracts with its network carriers (CBS, NBC, ESPN, Fox) through 2022.  Under the new agreements and in total, those networks will pay nearly $40B for NFL rights.  In fact, CBS, NBC and Fox, combined, will outlay $3.1B per year under the new agreement, a +60% increase over their current rates.


Much of the reasoning behind the networks paying so much for these rights is because the NFL’s audience, both on TV and in the stadiums, is large, dependable, and important to marketers.   CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said his network will benefit from the NFL's "terrific, exciting programming," and from the consistently high ratings that "no other franchise delivers."  And the new report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts that, globally, sponsorships will grow faster than any other sector of the sports marketplace in the next few years, overtaking gate receipts as the largest revenue segment by 2015. 


In America we love our sports, whether broadcast on television or experienced live.  And with fresh labor agreements, fan passion will continue uninterrupted for years to come.   So next time you’re out stocking up on team face paint, car flags, jerseys, ear muffs, and beverage huggies, make sure you get enough; they’ll need to last you for awhile.


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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.
Which brands use InStadium today?
Brands who want to increase their ROI and accelerate their business results. InStadium works with blue chip brands across many categories, including entertainment, internet technology, personal care, travel/hospitality, consumer packaged goods, retail, telecom, and more.
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