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We are looking at Nielsen’s social content ratings of the week of January 14-20 in order to get a good sense of which social platforms are the best tool for viewers to engage with their favorite programming.

 

This week, Nielsen’s Social Ratings show that Instagram was the clear winner of TV-programming-related social media with 24.1 million (61%) interactions, while Twitter received 13.4 million and Facebook was last with 1.9 million. Here we extract a few insights from Nielsen’s data in order to get a good sense of which broadcasters and programs generate more engagement, and will try to find out whether there is a relationship between topics and social media.

 

WEEKLY TOP TEN SERIES AND SPECIALS

January 14-20, 2019

[Source: Nielsen]

Key Insights

  • Out of the total of interactions on the top ten spots, 24% (9.5 million posts) were related to a TV episode or special.
  • Facebook had 429,000 interactions, way behind Twitter, which received 1.9 million.
  • However, none of those two could match Instagram, which got 7.2 million posts, or 75% of the posts.
  • The top two spots were taken over by USA Network and WWE. Combined, both events generated almost half (43%) of the interactions.
  • Instagram won by a landslide on almost all the events, except for The Bachelor, which got more interactions on Twitter.

 

WEEKLY TOP TEN SPORTS EVENTS

January 14-20, 2019

[Source: Nielsen]

Key Insights

  • Over 30 million interactions, or 76% of the total of the three top ten rankings provided by Nielsen related to TV episodes or special events, were about sports.
  • From these, 1.5 million interactions were posted on Facebook (only 5%).
  • Twitter received 11.5 million related to sports events, or (38%).
  • About 56% (16.9 million) posts were made on Instagram, making it the unanimous winning platform in the sports category.
  • NFL events took the first two spots (57% of sports interactions), with the Patriots vs Chiefs match generating a third of all the interactions with sports events of the week.
  • The remaining 43% of posts were related to basketball events; spots 3 to 9 were NBA matches, and spot 10 was a College Basketball match.
  • Instagram was the top platform for NBA fans, but Twitter is still the winner for NFL followers.

 

WEEKLY TOP TEN TV TALENT

January 14-20, 2019

[Source: Nielsen]

Key Insights

  • According to Nielsen’s data, 2.1 million viewers engaged with the top ten posts sent directly from social media accounts owned or affiliated with TV programming.
  • For the top 10 spots, Facebook received 16,000 engagements, Twitter got 431,000, and Instagram came out on top with 1.6 million.
  • The relationship between top series and top TV talents is rather close, especially in the case of America’s Got Talent’s Terry Crews. Even though Ellen’s Game of Games is on the 10th spot of the former list, she was the second most popular TV talent of the week.

 

Cover photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

What: The Canadian Football League and Mexico’s LFA announced a partnership that will encompass player development, marketing and other connections between the leagues.
Why it matters: The opportunity to expand its footprint south is a potential growth area for the CFL, in a market the NFL has connected with to some degree but which may be open to the Canadian style of the game.

Is a country that loves fútbol getting closer to more football? The recent relocation issue with the Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) (vs. Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) game from Mexico City back to L.A. due to poor field conditions aside, there is no doubt that American football continues to eye the Latino audience from the grassroots to elite development, as a prime area for brand expansion. Recent stories in media outlets like the New York Times have examined the growth of play among young Latinos at the high school level, and USA Football (@usafootballhas targeted inner-city Latinos as key cultivation points for added focus, as the population continues to shift and the newer immigrant looks to assimilate more to game that may have been foreign upon arrival.

From a brand perspective, the NFL has continued to look south for its large engagement growth, with added access to Mexican and South American fans, as well as youth programs and regular season games continuing to grow focus.

So it should not come as a huge surprise that the Canadian Football League (@CFL), looking to identify new fans and branding opportunities, announced a partnership this past weekend with Mexico’s Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA) to work together on everything from player development to expansion of both brands to each other’s demo. That new partnership according to both CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie and LFA Commissioner Oscar Perez will also include a regular season CFL game south of the U.S. border as soon as 2020.

A CFL partnership on firm ground can certainly lift the game, bring more awareness in Mexico, and even add revenue and cultivate talent at the grassroots.

“There are so many possibilities, including possible Spanish language CFL broadcasts in Mexico, a Spanish version of the CFL’s popular Football Frenzy video game and merchandise agreements,” said Ambrosie at this past weekend’s Grey Cup Championship game, adding that the plan would include a CFL scouting combine in Mexico City this winter for LFA players.

“How great would it be if we could send young men from Canada to another country where they can get a world-class experience playing football somewhere and come back to Canada bigger and stronger and ready to be stars in the CFL?” said Ambrosie, who is looking to more global partners to grow the CFL brand, and has targeted Mexico as the natural first step.

Join us at PORTADA LOS ANGELES on March 15, 2019 at the Loews Beach Hotel Santa Monica, where we will dive deep into sports and soccer marketing’s preeminent topics. Felix Palau, VP Marketing, Heineken will discuss “How to measure ROI and transfer best practices between sports marketing platforms”. Other speaking engagements include Tiago Pinto, Global Marketing Director, Gatorade who will provide answers to the question: “Will Corporate America jump on the soccer opportunity?”Attendees will also be able to benefit from Portada’s meet-up service of three-eight-minute meetings with top brand executives!

For Mexican tourism (@VisitMexlooking to attract Canadian visitors during a season that runs from late summer to mid fall, the move could be a very smart one. Also the CFL has brand partners like Nissan (@nissancanadaand Tim Horton’s (@TimHortonswho could also enjoy the added ROI by adding a Mexican marketing presence and added visibility to fans with an affinity for American—or Canadian—football as well as the potential to expand brand presence to new fans.

Now this isn’t the first time the CFL has looked beyond borders. In the ‘90’s the CFL placed teams in five cities, including Baltimore (in the years between the Colts and the Ravens in that city), Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis to moderate success. Their recent partnership with ESPN has expanded the CFL broadcast window, and a push even further south, Ambrosie believes, could be an even more diverse boon for the league without any thought of expansion.

All of this talk is certainly good news for all aspects of traditional football in a country dominated by fútbol, and will certainly make fans hopefully forget the snafu that the NFL endured last month in Mexico City.

A CFL partnership on firm ground can certainly lift the game, bring more awareness in Mexico, and even add revenue and cultivate talent at the grassroots, something that should score with all, be they Canadian, American or Mexican, all fans of football.

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Cover Image: CFL.ca

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • According to the NFL, the consumption of games on digital platforms has jumped 65% from 2017 through week four of the new season, with an average minute audience of 326,000 viewers per game window across different platforms. The biggest growth has come from fans streaming games on their phones, where the average audience is up 147%. TV ratings are also up on last season. NFL viewership among Hispanics has increased by 28% in the past five years alone, according to a 2016 Nielsen report.

 

  • AT&T Mexico has announced an agreement to become the official sponsor of Mexican Pacific League baseball team Tomateros de Culiacan. The current 2017-18 champion has close to half a million followers on social networks. The deal includes AT&T’s logo to be added to the front of the official Tomateros jersey and the team’s players will take part in a number of AT&T events.

  • Google has expanded its partnership with MLB. The deal will see Google Assistant, a virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence, become the presenting sponsor of the American League and National League Championship Series. The tech company already has similar deals with YouTube TV and the MLB World Series. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

 

  • Sugarlands Distilling Company is teaming up with NASCAR and Talladega Superspeedway, as the “Official Moonshine of NASCAR”. As a part of the five-year agreement, Sugarlands will gain rights to promote its moonshine at retail, on packaging and will host key customers and distributors at-track. According to 2011 data, 20% of NASCAR’s followers are multicultural fans, 9% were Hispanic and 8% African-American.

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  • Under Armour locked a five-year deal with NBA player Joel Embiid. ESPN reports that the deal will make him the highest-paid center for this type of partnership, and will see Embiid and Under Armour partner on branded footwear and apparel in addition to charitable initiatives in and around Philadelphia and in Cameroon.

  • ESPN is planning on launching espnW in Mexico. espnW Mexico will serve as the brand umbrella and power content initiatives to engage and inspire women across ESPN’s linear, digital and social platforms.

 

  • The Houston Rockets locked in a partnership with Bilibili, the leading online entertainment platform for younger audiences in China. The Rockets are looking to expand their presence in esports, with Bilibili’s esports team, Bilibili Gaming and the Rockets’ esports squad Clutch Gaming taking part in a friendly game and Bilibili will become the official partner of CG.

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Doosan Equipment EUDoosan will be the presenting sponsor of the 2018 National League Division Series (NLDS). This is the brand’s second year MLB Postseason involvement, after sponsoring the American League Division Series (ALDS) last year. The brand will receive significant exposure across national broadcast and MLB-owned channels along with in-stadium brand integration throughout the series. “We are honored to be an official partner of MLB. Our partnership is nearly a year old, and we’ve seen those efforts help to build additional brand awareness and business opportunities for Doosan in the U.S.,” said Edward Song, Head of Doosan Infracore North America.

 

  • The NFL might be canceling its Sunday Ticket deal with AT&T-owned DirecTV. According to Pro Football Talk, the league is willing to cancel the US$1.5 billion extension deal it signed with the out-of-market broadcast provider back in 2014 to take the contract through 2022. The league has the power to cancel the arrangement as early as the conclusion of the 2019 regular season. NFL viewership among Hispanics has increased by 28% in the past five years alone, according to a 2016 Nielsen report.

 

  • The Phoenix Suns signed a jersey patch deal with PayPal. With this agreement, PayPal becomes the official payment partner of the Suns, the WNBA Phoenix Mercury and Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, a second-division Spanish soccer team controlled by Suns Owner Robert Sarver. In addition, the Suns will make PayPal Credit available for season-ticket purchases. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

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  • San Francisco 49ersTechnology company Copia is pushing its partnership with the San Francisco 49ers by helping reduce food waste at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, by delivering excess food to non-profit organizations and shelters. The technology company has redistributed over 26,000 pounds worth of quality food to the local community.

 

  • NASCAR presented a new augmented reality experience available via the NASCAR Mobile app, for fans to experience the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Fans will be able to walk through virtual portals to experience the Playoffs’ most memorable moments in 360-degree AR. According to 2011 data, 20% of NASCAR’s followers are multicultural fans, 9% were Hispanic and 8% African-American.

 

  • Mediapro is preparing to launch a Spanish-speaking OTT streaming service dedicated to esports. Similar to Twitch the new platform is expected to go live before the end of this year. The channel will house live competitive gaming events and tournaments, along with a host of exclusive in-house content. According to hispanicgamers.com Hispanics expressed more interest in watching others play video games compared to Non-Hispanics.

What: The NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards are the linchpin for activities during the league’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Why it matters: Programs like the HLLA and the “Feel the Orgullo” campaign offer ways for the league and partners like Nationwide to honor leaders in the Hispanic community, an ever-growing fan base segment.

In Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University student Rosana Elena Guernica raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for humanitarian missions to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. She spearheaded efforts that delivered 76,500 pounds of aid to the island and led the founding of nonprofit 296+, one of 32 recipients (one per NFL team) of US $2000 in donations through the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards (HHLA) (@NFLEspanol), one of several ways the league is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

The eighth annual awards, in partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (@HHFoundation) and Nationwide (@Nationwide), are a way for the league and its teams to make a positive impact on the Latino community, according to Marissa Fernandez, NFL Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Fan Development.

“We wanted the league’s support of Hispanic Heritage Month to go beyond just a marketing campaign,” Fernandez told Portada in an email interview. “We wanted to recognize those leaders who were already making such a positive contribution to their local communities and do something to not only reward them but to enable them to continue. Lastly, we wanted to build something that all 32 clubs can participate in and make their own.”

With Hispanics representing a significant and growing segment of the NFL fan base … Nationwide’s alignment in this cause marketing effort can help introduce its services to this fandom.
Marissa Fernandez

The HHLA makes up a significant part of the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Month support, providing grants to more than 250 organizations over the past eight years.

Nationwide’s support, for the second straight year, is critical to the program’s success, Fernandez noted. “Nationwide’s support of the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards continues to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the Hispanic community and aligns with our shared goal of improving the lives of others and giving back to the community.”

With Hispanics representing a significant and growing segment of the NFL fan base (one in four under age 24 identify as such by some polling estimates), Nationwide’s alignment in this cause marketing effort can help introduce its services to this fandom.

“Nationwide takes pride in providing resources, support and service to Hispanic consumers and business owners across the country,” said Jennifer MacKenzie, Senior Vice-President of Marketing at Nationwide, in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating the charitable efforts of Hispanic leaders in all 32 NFL markets during Hispanic Heritage Month.”

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For the league, in addition to supporting the HHLA winners’ grassroots programs, Fernandez is particularly gratified that individual clubs have become so involved not just in Hispanic Heritage Month and the NFL’s theme of “Feel the Orgullo” (pride), but in honoring the history, heritage and tradition of Latinos in other ways.

“In Indianapolis, the Colts host an annual Hispanic Heritage Month Football Camp,” she noted. “This year’s camp featured Colts cheerleaders, mascot Blue, players Matthew Adams, Matthias Farley, Kenny Moore, Jabaal Sheard and Rigoberto Sanchez, alongside youth from the Indiana Latino Institute. And in Tampa, the Buccaneers will deploy the Glazer Family Foundation’s Vision Mobile on a Hispanic Heritage Month tour. Vision Mobile is a state-of-the-art themed RV that travels to title-1 schools providing crucial eye screenings for children.”

As a partner, Nationwide also has a hand in the NFL Hispanic Leaders Alliance presented by Nationwide, launched in January, which, according to the league, “feature[s] webinars, events, and continued dialogue to help shape the NFL’s engagement and outreach with the Hispanic community.”

These are the kind of programs that, properly executed, boost Latino communities and have the added benefit of recognizing the increasing interest in the sport of young Hispanic fans.

Cover Image: Carolina Panthers present their Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award

What: La Liga’s deal to play regular-season games in the US and Canada is a huge risk for the league.
Why it matters: La Liga’s gamble to export to domestic league matches won’t do much to grow soccer in America.

Growing Soccer in America

In August, Relevent Sports and La Liga announced their plans to have regular season La Liga games played overseas in the United States and Canada. The move has been made in an attempt to raise the awareness of La Liga soccer and grow the sport in America. However, is this enough reason to bring Spanish domestic league soccer games across the Atlantic? Soccer is already one of the fastest growing sports in America. The number of boys and girls participating in high school has been on a steady rise since 2009 (https://bit.ly/2PCVDcj). The average attendance for MLS games currently stands at around 22,000, which is more than the NBA and NHL average attendances (https://bit.ly/2NgJgVL). The US, Canada and Mexico have just won a joint bid to host World Cup 2026 (@united2026) and Relevent’s ICC preseason tournament continues to set record numbers despite clubs rarely fielding star players on the tour. So does La Liga really need to have its games take place in North America to grow the sport?

Breaking Down La Liga’s Attempt to Reach North America

Speaking to the COO of Collegiate Sports Management Group and an adjunct professor with Columbia University’s Sports Management Program, Ray Katz (@realraykatz) believes that this is the kind of deal that could hurt the league. In his opinion, player relations could suffer greatly from staging games across North American. Additionally, he points out that there are better ways for Spain’s top-tier soccer league to reach new audiences. “If La Liga want to get their product out there, then the key is availability globally from a media perspective. Make the league available to people on any screen, and ideally free or as part of existing a solid OTT or cable subscriptions.”

At the moment, La Liga games are shown on Bein Sports Network, a network that has recently been dropped by one of America’s top cable providers, Comcast. To Katz’s point on availability, a lesson is there to be learned from NBC Sports. In 2013, NBC Sports captured the rights to show the English Premier League (EPL), perhaps Europe’s most popular soccer league. The network made all games available, free of charge, provided viewers had a cable subscription. It wasn’t until last year the network put up a paywall for games not televised on cable. But by then, NBC Sports’ brilliant coverage had made hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans into fans of one team or another in the EPL. More importantly, it made fans out of people willing to pay to see their team play if they weren’t being televised on one of the network’s major channels.

Make the league available to people on any screen…

If NBC Sports had made a pay streaming service for games at the outset of their deal with the EPL, there is serious doubt as to whether the EPL would be as prominent as it is in the US. In contrasts to La Liga, it’s current spot on a TV network, not readily available to most is extremely damaging to the product in America. On this issue, Katz said, “…La Liga needs to centralize their TV strategy and negotiations instead of having individual teams make these deals. The NFL did this in the 1960’s and it yielded epic results.”

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It’s clear from this deal, La Liga wants to do what the National Football League (NFL) has done with their sport. The NFL has exported regular season games to Europe and Mexico for some time now and it has been met with huge success. However, Katz points out La Liga won’t experience that same success with this new venture. “There isn’t any other high-level American football played outside of the U.S so NFL games abroad, serve essentially as an “ambassador” for the sport itself. For La Liga, every country has their own reasonably strong soccer league so La Liga soccer won’t necessarily attract that many new fans unless there are games with Barcelona or Real Madrid.”

Barcelona FC and Real Madrid CF have a massive global following already and don’t need to hold games across the Atlantic to increase their presence. Ticket pricing has already been earmarked as a possible problem. Last year’s ICC tournament featured the first “El Clasico” to be played outside of Spain, when Barça and Real met in Miami. Tickets to that match started at a whopping $300. This figure would get you into all home games alone at most Spanish clubs. But this is what ticket prices will look like if Americans want to watch regular season La Liga games in their own backyard. On the issue of ticket pricing Katz explained “…the only people who will pay the exorbitant ticket prices, are people who are fans of La Liga already.

You have to find a well thought out, balance between generating revenue and selling tickets. It can’t be one or the other.

A Mountain To Climb

The deal lacks support from the La Liga Players Association (LLPA), who are willing to strike in an effort to keep La Liga games in Spain. Many are not surprised by this stance, given the number of matches and cup competitions soccer players are involved in. One game could make all the difference in a season. La Liga will also have steep competition with established American sports, given the NFL, NHL, and NBA could all be in full force when it seeks to stage its games.

LLPA President, David Aganzo, speaks to the press after La Liga’s Captain emergency meeting.

Additionally, the deal has to be approved by FIFA, UEFA, CONCACF, The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the Spanish FA, Spain’s National Sports Council and its foreign ministry. FIFA will have the final say on the matter, but precedent doesn’t favor the deal either. The governing body’s former president Sepp Blatter condemned the EPL’s previous proposals to play matches overseas as “unacceptable” and an “abuse of football.” Despite all of this, La Liga recently announced that Barcelona against Girona will be the first game to be played overseas, with the Miami Dolphins Hard Rock Stadium the destination.

 

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • PBCPremier Boxing Champions has inked a broadcasting deal with FOX. The fights will appear on both the broadcast network and FS1, including an annual boxing budget that tops $60 million. The deal will kick off in December and calls for 10 championship-level fights on FOX, with at least another 12 shows on FS1.

 

  • UFC announced a new, multi-year global marketing partnership with Nemiroff to become the first-ever “Official Vodka” Partner. Nemiroff will have a branded presence inside the Octagon at all UFC events, including UFC’s remaining Pay-Per-View events in 2018. Partnership activations will include other promotional opportunities, outside the octagon. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

 

  • La Vida Baseball reported reaching more than six million English-preferred Latinos per month and generating more than 1.2 million monthly video views across all digital platforms. In addition, La Vida Baseball partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and The Hispanic Heritage Foundation to host a special event discussing philanthropy through the lens of Latino baseball.

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  • https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/926822334773653505/C1QObiyZ_400x400.jpgThe Dallas Cowboys have announced a partnership with Winstar World Casino and Resort. By doing so, the NFL has become the first American football team to partner with a casino. NFL viewership among Hispanics has increased 28% from 2011 to 2016, according to a 2016 Nielsen report.

 

  • CBS has revealed its plans to stream this season’s NFL Super Bowl for free ‘across more platforms than ever’. Fans will be able to watch the big game without a sign-in through CBS Sports’ website and mobile apps, while the game will also be available on the CBS All Access subscription service.  According to  Forbes, between 2005 and 2015, the total number of NFL Hispanic fans doubled from 750,000 to 1.5 million.

 

  • The Arizona Cardinals announced an 18-year stadium naming rights deal with insurance firm State Farm. It was not revealed whether the deal with State Farm would earn the Cardinals more than the annual US$7.7 million they received from their agreement with the University of Phoenix, which is staying on as an official education partner of the franchise.

What: Entravision has renewed its NFL agreement for three more years, and will be the official NFL Spanish language radio broadcaster for Sunday Night Football through the 2020 season.
Why it matters: Spanish language radio can be a more cost-effective way for marketers to reach the Hispanic football fan audience.

Ramik Wilson (credit: Keith Allison)

The NFL (@NFL), like other leagues, is well aware of the growth of the Hispanic/Latino population in the U.S., estimated to have swelled to more than 58 million and about 17% of all Americans. While those numbers aren’t reflected in player makeup as they are in baseball, the league has courted the Hispanic fan base here and Latin America, notably through NFL Mexico (@nflmx), which last year saw more than 76,000 fans attend the New England Patriots’ win over the Oakland Raiders at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and will hope for similar results on Nov. 19 when the Kansas City Chiefs battle the Los Angeles Rams in the nation’s capital in the fourth annual contest in a series that has its roots in earlier attempts at spreading the game south of the border.

Now comes a development closer to home for Spanish-speaking fans in the States, as Entravision renewed its NFL agreement for three more years, taking its radio broadcasts of 17 Sunday Night Football games (plus the Kickoff and Thanksgiving Day Thursday game and five AFC playoff games) through 2020. The agreement adds Super Bowl LIV in 2020 and LV in 2021 to the package.

Radio broadcasts can be a lower-cost but still very effective means of reaching those Spanish-speaking fans whose consumption of games is more easily attained via radio.

Entravision’s (@EVCMedia) NFL coverage is heard in 20 markets, including cities as large as New York (1010 WEPN-AM) and Los Angeles (103.1 KDLD, KDLE-FM), many concentrated in traditional Hispanic markets like Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Colorado.

“Hispanics are truly NFLeros and actively engage with their teams during both the pre and regular-season,” said Jeffery Liberman, Entravision’s President and Chief Operating Officer, in a statement. “We’re excited to be part of the football excitement and to connect with the Latino community by partnering with the NFL to provide Spanish-language radio broadcasts for the next three seasons.”

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Ricardo Celis (Wikimedia: Rcarillo67)

The Sunday Night airings begin with a pre-game show called Pase Completo, hosted by former Mexican quarterback Ricardo Celis (@CelisDeportesand Tony Nuñez. Many of the elements that English-speaking fans enjoy, such as Fantasy updates, guest interviews, predictions and strategy are part of Pase Completo.

“Our NFL coverage provides advertisers with new opportunities to tap into our growing and loyal fanbase and their enthusiasm for the NFL,” added Entravision’s CRO Mario M. Carrera. “This multi-year agreement, combined with our Sunday pregame show Pase Completo, provides our stations with unique content that further differentiates their presence in the market with both listeners and advertisers.”

Radio broadcasts can be a lower-cost but still very effective means of reaching those Spanish-speaking fans whose consumption of games is more easily attained via radio. Courting that base is a priority for many teams and leagues, the NFL included. It was one thing for Entravision to go heavy on World Cup and its built-in audience. While the NFL partnership, first set in 2015 before this week’s renewal, reflected the growth of the engagement of Latino fans in the years immediately preceding, it was far from a sure thing. The renewal seems to indicate it has worked out well for both league and broadcaster.

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • UFCUFC has reached a company value of up to US$7 billion, after signing a five-year media rights deal with ESPN, according to Dana White, president of the UFC. The deal with ESPN, announced in May, will see the sports broadcasting giant cover a total of 30 events each year, with 15 bouts to air exclusively on the new ESPN+ streaming service. The agreement is said to be worth an eye-popping US$300 million annually over five years, netting the UFC a total US$1.5 billion.

 

  • MLB will open the season earlier than ever before next year, after announced that all 30 teams will start the 2019 season on March 28, the earliest Opening Day in history, without counting international games. The season will tip off with the Mariners and host Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 20-21.

 

  • Victor Cruz, former New York Giants wide receiver, is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst. Cruz will contribute to NFL Live, Get Up!, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and other ESPN platforms year-round.

 

  • MMA promotion Combate Americas announced the opening of La Jaula Studios, a new multi-platform content production studio created to serve Hispanic Millennials and Generation Z. La Jaula Studios will produce authentic content in Spanish, English, and Portuguese that complements Combate Americas’ programming with upcoming projects. The new studio will be led by Stan Jakubowicz, who was recently promoted to Chief Content Officer and will be based in New York.

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  • CHEEZ-ITKellogg’s Cheez-It brand was named as the title sponsor of the NFL Cactus Bowl, which will now be known as the Cheez-It Bowl. The multi-year partnership features a match-up between members of the Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. The fully-integrated partnership includes digital and social media, content, in-stadium exposure, product sampling and on-site activation at the game and other Fiesta Bowl organization events.

 

  • Frost Bank has become the San Antonio Spurs first-ever jersey partner. The multi-year deal will see Frost’s logo on the jerseys starting Sept. 30. Frost Bank’s branding will also appear more widely at the AT&T Center and on Spurs’ digital platforms.

 

  • The Overwatch League and Twitter locked a new multiyear deal to bring highlights and live stream content to the platform. Twitter will drive Overwatch League’s distribution of near real-time highlight clips from every match of the Overwatch League regular season, playoffs, Grand Finals, and All-Star Weekend.

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • NASCARNASCAR presented the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in Las Vegas. To celebrate the start of the sport’s postseason and engage fans, the festivities center around three major events: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Day; NASCAR Burnout Blvd Fueled by Sunoco, and a two-day Playoffs Party at Fremont Street Experience. According to 2011 data, 20% of NASCAR’s followers are multicultural fans, 9% were Hispanic and 8% African-American.

 

  • MLB and USA Baseball announced a new high school baseball tournament designed to showcase some of the best rising seniors from Texas and California. “States Play,” co-hosted by the Texas Rangers, will center on a three-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, from Aug. 24-26. Each game will stream LIVE on MLB.com, and access to Globe Life will be free for the public. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

 

  • Razer inked a strategic partnership to become the official phone and headset provider for Tribe Gaming, a top mobile esports organization in North America. The deal includes an eight-episode docuseries to be released by the end of 2018. According to a 2014 Think Now Research study Hispanic gamers buy and rent video games more often than Non-Hispanics.

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  • Papa John's PizzaOne month after suspending their relation with Papa John’s, after the pizza brand’s founder John Schnatter made some racist comments, the New York Yankees have restored their partnership, and will sell its products again at the Yankee Stadium.

 

  • The NFL team Los Angeles Chargers announced telecommunications company Rokit as their official wireless partner. As part of the multi-year agreement, the firm also becomes the title sponsor of the team’s stadium, Rokit Field at StubHub Center.

 

  • NBA franchises owned by the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves will join its NBA 2K League esports competition in 2019. The four expansion teams will join an existing roster of 17 NBA teams which participated in this year’s inaugural 2k League season, which got underway in May and will conclude with its first ever finals event on 25th August.

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • NBA MÉXICOThe NBA Mexico City Games 2018 will feature the Orlando Magic playing regular-season games against the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 13, and against the Utah Jazz on Dec. 15 at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City. This will be the third consecutive season the NBA plays two regular-season games in Mexico City, with coverage on ESPN. The NBA Mexico City Games 2018 will be supported by a full roster of marketing partners, including Nike, SAP, Gatorade and Tissot with additional partners to be announced in the coming months.

 

  • United Entertainment Group is launching its first-ever offering in Asia where industry veteran Toru Fumihara has been hired as the Managing Director of UEG’s new office in Tokyo, which will serve as a hub for the Asian marketplace. This marks the third international office the agency has opened in the span of one year, starting with London in 2017 and Hamburg, Germany earlier in 2018.

 

  • As the official beer of the NFL, Bud Light is introducing new designs for cans that feature a team logo, as well as a customized color stripe down the side. In total, each of Bud Light’s 28 team partners will be featured in the new designs, along with an NFL Shield edition to round out the collection. The new cans hit shelves this week.

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  • David Higdon
    David Higdon, head of communications, esports at Riot Games.

    Former NASCAR executive David Higdon has a new lane to oversee, joining Riot Games in the newly created position of global head of communications, esports. Higdon previously served as VP of integrated marketing communications for NASCAR and as CCO for the LPGA.

 

  • DAZN announced the sublicensing deals for its NFL coverage in Canada after experiencing streaming issues last season. Streaming and satellite providers including BCE Inc., Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and SaskTel will distribute NFL Sunday Ticket for the upcoming season.

 

  • The NFL won’t be playing in London’s new Tottenham Hotspur stadium as it was planned. Developers announced delays in opening the venue due to safety concerns so this year’s NFL game that was set for the location will now take place at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 14. The game will feature the Seahawks vs Raiders.

What: The New York Giants’ invitation of Octavio González to camp and Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional’s expansion to 10 teams are signs that American football’s popularity is growing in Mexico.
Why it matters: The National Football League is looking to grow the popularity of football abroad and Mexico is a market that the league has targeted.

Octavio González’s (@tavogzz93) attempts to latch onto the National Football League (@NFL) have not been via the traditional route.

González did not play for an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (@NCAAFootball) school like the University of Alabama (@AlabamaFTBL) or a Division I Football Championship Subdivision (@NCAA_FCS) like North Dakota State University (@NDSUathletics). Nor did he even play for a Division II (@NCAADII) or Division III (@NCAADIII) school.

The 6-3, 262 pound linebacker from Monterrey, Mexico, who was invited to the New York Giants (@Giants) May mini-camp, played college ball for the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León (UANL) Tigres (@AUTENTICOS_UANL) and currently plays for the Monterrey Fundidores of the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (@LFAmex).

Monterrey Fundidores linebacker Octavio González, of the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional, was invited by the New York Giants to their May mini-camp.

“The [Giants] coaches were impressed with the athletic talent I brought [to camp],” said González in an interview with Fox Sports MX (@FOXSportsMX). “I was practicing at a position I never practiced at before, let alone played before. I did well, to be honest. I felt at the same level as the guys that were there, and I’m on the [Giants’] short list.”

The fact that a professional league now exists in the country can only increase the fan base, and with the NFL bringing back games to Mexico, the popularity has no ceiling.

González sharpened his skill-sets in the LFA, which launched in 2016 with four teams, expanding to six franchises last year. At an April press conference prior to the Tazón México III title game, LFA president Óscar Pérez announced that league would add four more teamsexpanding the league to 10 teams for the 2019 season.

“When we started this [2018] season, we said it would be to consolidate and improve the league,” said Perez. “This could not be done without the help of the franchisees and I would like to announce, in a very content manner, and with the satisfaction of [a sense of] fulfillment, we are going to expand next season and consolidate ten teams in the Mexican Republic.”

The rapid expansion of the league is seen as a sign of the growing popularity of the sport of American football, south of the border.

“The fact that a professional league now exists in the country can only increase the fan base, and with the NFL bringing back games to Mexico, the popularity has no ceiling,” said Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) Spanish radio broadcast Tony Alvarez (@Tonyar27).

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Alvarez points outs that football has been popular in Mexico, at the college and university level, since the 1920s, but that support for the sport waned with a lack of professional league.

The problem was that people only had their universities to cheer on,” said Alvarez. “And now, with the creation of the LFA, the opportunity to succeed as a player at the professional level and also to have a league of their own only grows.”

The NFL recently turned its attention back towards Mexico after an 11-year hiatus. In 2005, the Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) defeated the San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) 31–14 at Estadio Azteca (@EstadioAzteca) in Mexico City, in front of 103,467 fans, the first regular season NFL game held outside the United States.

Since that game, the NFL has focused on the European market, launching the International Series at Wembley Stadium (@wembleystadium) in London. The NFL returned to Mexico City, in 2016, with the Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) losing to Oakland Raiders (@RAIDERS), 27-20, in the first MNF game broadcast from outside the United States.

Alvarez believes that the success of the LFA is beneficial for the NFL to gain a foothold in the Mexican market.

The Mexicas (red) defeated the Raptors (white) 17-0 in the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional’s (LFA) Tazón México III championship game, held April 22, 2018, at Estadio Azul in Mexico City.

“The LFA season starts after the NFL season, so it can be a ‘built up’ every year from fall to spring, and if somehow the two leagues can work some kind of partnership agreement to work together, it would even increase reaching out to the Mexican fan base,” said Alvarez. “So far, it seems that the LFA project is working and will work for many years. The NFL will benefit from that because more people will be interested in the sport and everyone wants to be a part of the highest level of competition, from a fan and development standpoint, that being the NFL.”

For players like González, the LFA represents a potential springboard to achieve his dream of playing professional American football in the United States.

“I had three years of inactivity and I saw that the league kept growing,” said González to Máximo Avance (@maximoavance), who stream all LFA league games. “I saw players that, in their time, they were stars on their (college) teams. So I said, ‘why not? I want to return to playing, and maybe I can use this as a trampoline,’ and good things are happening.”

Cover Image: Wikimedia Commons/Equiquinos

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • OTT streaming service DAZN has detailed its expansion into the US, following parent company PerformGroup’s $1 billion joint venture with Matchroom Boxing and a nine-figure multiyear global distribution agreement with Bellator MMA. The first-ever fight night will be headlined by heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua and Alexander “The Russian Warrior” Povetkin, on Sept. 22 live from Wembley Stadium in London.

 

  • AngelsThrough the first half of the 2018 MLB season, viewership of Los Angeles Angels telecasts on FOX Sports West has delivered the highest year-over-year ratings increase of any MLB team, according to the network. At the All-Star Break, current local-market household ratings on FOX Sports West are up 79% in comparison to last season.

 

  • Activision Blizzard has agreed to a multi-year broadcast rights deal with Disney to televise the eSports Overwatch League across ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney XD, ABC, and all related streaming services. “ESPN is invested in the growth of the NBA and now we hope they are invested in the growth of our league. That’s what makes it a significant moment,” stated Pete Vlastelica, president and chief executive of Activision Blizzard esports leagues. Hispanics expressed more interest in watching others play video games compared to Non-Hispanics, according to a 2014 Think Now Research study.

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  • Amazon is expanding its cloud computing deal with MLB, with a new set of real-time statistics and graphics for live baseball games. The deal makes use of Amazon Web Services’ artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, follows a similar deal with the National Football League in November. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.

 

  • Pizza HutPizza Hut announced a sponsorship deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, to mark the second official NFL team partnership for the brand, following the Seattle Seahawks. “Few franchises in sports are as revered as the Pittsburgh Steelers, so it is with great pride that we enter into a partnership with one of the most iconic teams in the NFL,” said Zipporah Allen, CMO, Pizza Hut.

 

  • Mercedes-Benz is partnering with ProGaming Italia and Sony Interactive Entertainment Italy to launch the Gran Turismo Sports E-Cup by Mercedes. A total 12 racers will compete for the championship on Oct. 7, the last day of Milan Games Week. 

 

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill has been named the presenting sponsor of the US Lacrosse Nationals, the national governing body’s signature youth tournament running Aug. 2-5, 2018, in Frederica, Del. “Chipotle has been one of our organization’s most supportive partners, and we are thrilled to evolve that partnership to include Chipotle as the presenting sponsor of our premier youth event,” said Brett Hurwitz, VP of marketing and communications at US Lacrosse.

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  • UFC Fight Pass will now live-stream events from the new Karate Combat promotion, beginning with next Saturday’s event out of Athens, Greece. Karate Combat features elite level karateka using full contact rules. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.

 

  • GEICOGEICO is planning to launch the GEICO Gaming Ambassador program, tapping four influencers who reflect “the best values the gaming and esports communities can offer. Brian Kibler and Pokimane are the first two names announced for the initiative. They will be doing posts, commentary, and answering questions on Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch about it.

 

  • ESPN Deportes will present more than 600 hours of coverage of the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games from Barranquilla, Colombia, across ESPN Deportes and the ESPN App. The coverage includes highlights of all the competitions including, gymnastics, swimming, boxing, volleyball, women’s and men’s soccer, women’s and men’s basketball, among others.

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Streaming service fuboTV added SNY, the official television home of the New York Mets, Jets, and all things New York sports, to its channels, making it available to new and existing “Fubo Premier” subscribers at no additional cost.  With this, fuboTV has become the only OTT provider to offer all three NY regional sports networks in its base package.
  • Major League Baseball renewed alliances with HBO to create customized “Game of Thrones” events, giveaways, ticket specials and experiences to participating MLB ballparks this Summer. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.
  • Ricardo Zúñiga
    Ricardo Zúñiga, Deputy Coordinating Editor for ESPN’s global digital content team.

    Ricardo Zúñiga has become Deputy Coordinating Editor for ESPN’s global digital content team. He’ll be covering content in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and other territories. He will also work closely with the ESPN Deportes team on editorial integration of the U.S. Hispanic content.

  • beIN Sports signed a TV deal with Major League Wrestling, starting April 20. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.
  • Peter Hutton, former Eurosport CEO, will become Facebook’s Director of Global Live Sports Partnerships and Programming, leading the live sports broadcast strategy. According to The Nativa, in 2016 there were 28.03 million US Hispanics on Facebook.

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  • Heineken had to remove a Heineken Light ad, after being accused of using a “terribly racist” tagline, by Chance the Rapper in a tweet, which quickly generated controversy. “Sometimes Lighter Is Better,” was the campaign’s slogan.
    Heineken USA issued a statement within hours: “For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us. While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer — we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.”
  • Hankook USAHankook Tire and Major League Baseball entered into a new multi-year sponsorship that names Hankook Tire the Official Tire of MLB in the United States and Korea. The new partnership aims to showcase Hankook Tire across Baseball’s media assets including MLB Network, digital platforms such as MLB.com & social media, and MLB ballparks.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers have extended their partnership with San Manuel Casino for the eleventh consecutive season. In addition to joint hospitality and marketing opportunities, San Manuel and the Dodgers will collaborate with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.
  • The NFL and Nike extended their on-field rights partnership. Nike will continue to provide all 32 NFL Clubs with uniforms and sideline apparel bearing the Nike brand for use during all games. “Nike has been a long-time and trusted partner of NFL and we’re thrilled to extend our relationship with them,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer for the NFL.

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LUNA United, the modern content production agency within the communications group UNITED COLLECTIVE, announced that Adrian Castagna has joined as Head of Integrated Production. In this role, Castagna will propel in-house production to create content with cutting-edge design in response to the needs of today’s client and cultural demands.

 

 

 

 

Nancy Dubuc has been named CEO of Vice Media. Vice co-founder Shane Smith will take a new role as executive chairman. The news was announced a day after Dubuc stepped down from her position at A+E Networks.

 

 

 

 

 

Walt Disney Co. is reorganizing to create a direct-to-consumer and international unit. Kevin Mayer, Disney’s chief strategy officer since 2015, was named chairman of the new unit. The reorganization leaves Disney with four segments. In addition to the new unit, there are Media Networks; Studio Entertainment and a segment that combines Parks, Experiences, and Consumer Products.

 

 

 

 

MediaCom has promoted Kate Rowlinson to new managing director, Worldwide Hubs. She was previously joint managing director of EMEA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC has named Kerris Bright as chief customer officer. In this newly-created role, she’ll be responsible for developing a “closer, more personal relationship” between the organization and consumers, namely license fee payers and those signing in to BBC services, the corporation said.

 

 

 

 

Jesús Chávez has been promoted from SVP of Operations to Chief Operating Officer at Latino digital media company mitú. Based in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, he reports to CEO Herb Scannell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gastón Tourn is the new chief marketing officer of Badoo. He had previously worked at Google for almost 5 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Ogilvy Miami has announced the incorporation of two new creatives that will help expand the firm’s reach in the United States Hispanic market. Uriel Sanchez will take the role of Art Creative Director and Carlos Cervantes Perk will be Copy Creative Director. Both creatives have experience working at Ogilvy Mexico.

 

 

J. Walter Thompson Co. has announced it is eliminating the position of worldwide chief creative officer. Matt Eastwood, who has held that position since July 2014, will leave to “pursue other interests.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn Hudson announced plans to step down from her role as chief marketing officer of the National Football League.

 

 

 

 

A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • Amazon Prime Video is bringing UFC pay-per-view events to viewers in the U.S. The deal started last Saturday, March 2nd with UFC 222: Cris Cyborg vs. Yana Kunitskaya. No Prime membership is required to watch pay-per-view-events on Prime Video, you just need to purchase the fight. UFC 222 cost $64.99 to enable the streaming. According to a Washington Post poll, 38% of mixed martial arts fans are African-American, and 31% are Hispanics.
  • NewBalanceUSAThe New York Mets and New Balance announced a long-term sponsorship making New Balance the official footwear and apparel company of the Mets and Citi Field. The deal includes New Balance presence throughout Citi Field beginning in 2018. 31% of MLB players are Latino, according to ESPN.
  • ESPN and ESPN Deportes will broadcast MLB regular-season games in Puerto Rico and Mexico this season.
  • Formula 1 is launching F1 TV, which will serve as the sport’s OTT platform and represent F1’s largest investment to date into its digital properties. Live streams will run ad-free and will include multi-language commentary. Subscribers will also be able to watch the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 Series, and Porsche Supercup, among others.

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  • Pizza Hut has become the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL after the league ended its Pizza Hutpartnership with Papa John’s Pizza. The multi-year agreement will offer Pizza Hut a vast array of exclusive marketing rights.
  • ExxonMobil signed a multi-year marketing partnership with the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, and Houston Rockets. ExxonMobil’s will keep being the “Official Motor Fuel of the National Basketball Association” in those markets.
  • Pacific Pro Football and adidas announced a multiyear partnership, becoming the exclusive footwear and apparel supplier for Pacific Pro’s inaugural four teams. Together with Pacific Pro Football, adidas will lead on all aspects of branding, marketing, and uniform design, as well as contribute to league development.

What: The total US ad market has grown by 10.8% in January 2018.
Why it matters: Ad market growth was driven by ad spend in national television and digital platforms, indicating possible further growth for 2018.

Advertising intelligence firm Standard Media Index has revealed national advertising revenue figures for January 2018.  The total US ad market grew by 10.8% in January 2018 compared to January 2017, driven by significant gains in national television and digital platforms.

In January 2018, year-over-year (YoY) advertising revenue in National TV grew +7.1%, with +11.1% growth in Cable and +2.7% in Broadcast.  Digital grew +16.8%, radio declined -6.1%, out-of-home (OOH) declined -2.1%, and print dropped -3%.

“January has been a stellar month for National TV. Scatter volume is up 50% on 2017 as a host of advertisers have stormed back into the market,” said James Fennessy, SMI’s CEO. “Some of this growth has been driven by the move of several big college football games and the Grammy’s into January, but even so underlying growth is still an impressive 5.3%. Based on these results, and our view into forward bookings, we predict National TV to grow 1.6% in Q1, excluding the Winter Games.”

Awards Shows Brought in Important Growth

  • The 60th Annual Grammy Awards on January 28, excluding red carpet coverage, earned US $61 million in ad revenue for CBS, a +3.8% increase from last year.  The paid unit cost for a 30-second commercial spot rose +11.8%, despite losing 24% of total viewers from last year.  That said, CBS reported a 40% increase in unique viewers of the show’s live stream from last year.
  • The 75th Annual Golden Globes, which aired on NBC on January 7, brought in more than US $32 million in ad revenue, a +7.1% increase from last year.  Despite viewership dropping 5% from last year, the average cost of a 30-second commercial spot also increased by 5%.  The 2018 Golden Globes Arrivals Special increased ad revenue by 8%.
  • The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, which aired on TBS and TNT on January 21, earned an ad revenue increase of nearly 25% from last year.

NFL Post Season and Cable News

  • Although the regular season NFL games saw a decline in 2017, ad revenue during the post-season increased by +5.3% year-over-year. These figures include the wild card, divisional round and conference championships – the games that took place in January.
  • Cable News continued to show strong growth in January at 25% year-over-year. MSNBC, which also reported record viewership this month, earned a whopping 62% more ad revenue than January of last year.  CNN increased +32% and FOX News increased +17%.
  • Looking at weekday primetime programming, CNN grew nearly 50% in January year-over-year.  FOX News is the most expensive Cable News network for weekday primetime, charging an average $13,600 for a 30-second spot.

Digital Platforms

In January 2018, Digital increased +16.8% year-over-year.  Digital platforms have grown ad revenue on a year-over-year basis in every month since Standard Media Index began tracking the data. Digital’s rate of growth slowed in the second half of 2017 and has been steady around 12% since October.

Social Media networks saw the largest growth in January at 42%Facebook saw the strongest growth at 55%, and Twitter increased its ad revenue 30%.  After some early losses last year, Twitter has been growing on a year-over-year basis for the last several months.  Video Sites grew 10% in January, with large gains from premium video providers.  Hulu increased 20% and Vevo nearly doubled its revenue.

Advertisers by Category

Looking at advertiser categories across National TV, the Auto industry was the largest spender in January, although that amount declined by 3% compared to last year.  Meanwhile, the Insurance industry was the second biggest advertiser, increasing spend by 22%.  Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+4%), Quick Service Restaurants (+10%), Food and Food, Produce & Dairy (-10%) had the largest spend in 2017.

Biggest National TV 
Advertiser Categories (Jan. 2018)
YoY Change in Ad Spend
Autos-3%
Insurance+22%
Prescription Pharmaceuticals+4%
Quick Service Restaurants+10%
Food, Produce & Dairy-10%

Looking at advertiser categories across all platforms, the Telecommunications industry was the largest spender in January, increasing 8.3% year-over-year.  Autos, which were the second largest category, remained flat.  Prescription Pharmaceuticals (+16.9%), Insurance (+25.9%), and QSR (+6.3%) make up the top five.  IT & Software grew the most YoY, more than doubling its spend.

Biggest Advertiser Categories 
Across All Platforms (Jan. 2018)
YoY Change in Ad Spend
Telecommunications+8.3%
Autos+0.7%
Prescription Pharmaceuticals+16.9%
Insurance+25.9%
Quick Service Restaurants+6.3%

 

What: Fox Sports will pay over US $3 billion to broadcast NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” for the next five years.
Why it matters: With this new deal, the NFL hopes to boost ratings while FOX Sports makes an effort to make up for decreases in ad revenue.

Fox Sports has closed a US $3 billion deal to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” for the next five seasons. This agreement shows Twenty-First Century Fox’s goal of becoming a leader in sports after a drop in advertising revenue. Nevertheless, Fox is optimistic Thursday night football will help Fox’s business growth, as president of the company Peter Rice said on a media call. According to CNBC, Fox will be paying about $60 million per game.

“Football is in our blood at Fox and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people’s attention and defines American culture,” said Rice on the call. “Our historic relationship with the NFL dates back to the earliest days of Fox, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our deep and enduring partnership to include primetime games on Thursday night.”

The deal allows Fox Sports to broadcast 11 games between weeks 4 and 15. It will be streamed via NFL Network and will be distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes. NFL Network will also broadcast seven games next season, with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games. It’s the longest broadcast deal for the Thursday games since they began airing on NFL Network in 2006.

Under the new deal, Fox will be able to air its games on mobile phones for the first time, and while the deal is exclusively between the NFL and Fox, they are looking for a digital partner to live-stream the games, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner said on the call. In the past, the NFL has partnered with Twitter and Amazon for those rights.

 

 

What: The NFL has increased its work engaging the Latino community through various efforts including games in Mexico City and the new Hispanic Leadership Alliance.
Why it matters: The power of the Latino dollar and influence over brands is ever-increasing, and programs like this reinforce their desire to connect.

Earlier this year the NFL announced an expansion of its efforts to better engage the Latino audience in Mexico, which included more grassroots efforts and the extension of their series of regular season games in Mexico City. For brands looking to take the power of the NFL and marry it with the growing and engaged fans, not just in Mexico but Latino fans in the U.S., the effort makes great sense as the league finds ways to grow its massive following.

This past week the league announced another extension of that effort, bringing on Nationwide Insurance to launch the Hispanic Leaders Alliance, in conjunction with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. The program will expand the relationship between the NFL and HHF, which has existed since 2011, through webinars, community events and other efforts to better position the league with a community they have been steadily growing. Nationwide’s involvement will give the program a much-needed corporate boost as well, providing a longtime NFL partner with a bigger avenue into the growing Latino market and expanding a leadership position in the community.

One of those key growth areas remains the Latino community, and the great success the league enjoyed this past season in Mexico will be expanded by efforts like this one and others to come.

“The launch of the Hispanic Leaders Alliance signifies a continued commitment by the NFL, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Nationwide to connect with and serve Latino communities across the country,” said Dawn Hudson, NFL Chief Marketing Officer this past week. “We are excited to connect with this network of leaders on a year-round basis and continue to impact the local communities of our 32 teams.”

A key part of the existing program has been acknowledging leaders during Hispanic Heritage Month, with more than 200 Hispanic leaders from across the country already recognized and more than $400,000 granted to non-profit organizations. The efforts will now focus in every market, as well as with the NFL’s Latino community outreach which can bolster its efforts south of the border as well.

“Nationwide is honored to partner with the NFL and Hispanic Heritage Foundation to support this newly formed Hispanic Leaders Alliance,” added Mike Boyd, Senior Vice-President of Marketing at Nationwide. “Our sponsorship along with the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards align with Nationwide’s goal of partnering with organizations that share our values of improving the lives of others and giving back to their communities.”

With Super Bowl week here, the NFL will look to wrap up what has been a tumultuous season and continue its push to marry brands that they have gotten great benefit from to their dedicated extended community programs. These programs will be great currency for the league as it continues to reshape its public persona and grow from the many positive efforts its players and teams are doing in the community. One of those key growth areas remains the Latino community, and the great success the league enjoyed this past season in Mexico will be expanded by efforts like this one and others to come.

The power of the Latino dollar and influence over brands has never been stronger, so marrying Nationwide to this program is a great sign of the future and sets a nice benchmark for future work.

What: The market for live-streaming rights is getting even hotter: Verizon just struck a deal with the NBA, while Facebook has hired Eurosport CEO to oversee a multi-billion push into live-streaming of sports events and esport tournaments.
Why it matters: Live sports are the only appointment viewing content category large advertisers still want to spend big chunks of money in. As mobile users increase, platforms need to be quick in their bids to show live sports content online.

A few days before the February 9th deadline for English Premier League streaming packages, Facebook has targeted Peter Hutton, CEO at Eurosport, to oversee the social network’s multi-million live-streaming effort. More than ever, the digital advertising trend pushes major platforms to fight for live sports streaming, and Facebook sure could use the extra help. A few months ago, they pushed a failed US$600 million bid for the rights to cover the Indian Premier League of Cricket.

Even though Hutton is not expected to start his new role until the end of the winter Olympic Games in South Korea, digital streaming rights have a strong presence in the social network’s mind. They’ve been known to partner with Fox Sports to stream Champions League selected matches, as well as some matches from Mexico’s Major League SoccerThere have been reports that Facebook has decided not to bid for NFL streaming, which could mean they will save their efforts for soccer as it is the most-followed sport throughout their network.

Reinforcing sports streaming strategy is one thing, but platforms like Google and Facebook are also looking into expanding their efforts in electronic sports (esports) streaming. Facebook has the advantage here; as the relationship between video games and social media becomes closer, the largest social network has closed a deal with the Electronic Sports League, by which esports fans will be able to follow the Counter Strike: Global Offensive Pro League, and the Electronic Sports League One tournaments.

Verizon in NBA and NFL Deals

In order to compete with Facebook’s video ad business, Verizon has signed an agreement to allow mobile phone users to watch sports for free, but this time with the NBA. Verizon will let users watch up to eight basketball games for free, and viewers who wish to watch games throughout the season can subscribe to the League Pass service for US$99.

Just a few weeks ago, the mobile carrier, owner of Yahoo, closed a US $1.5 billion deal with the NFL to allow users to watch football matches on their mobile phones, through the Yahoo sports app. Verizon’s last deal with the NFL, which runs through the current season, cost the carrier $1 billion over four years. That means Verizon is paying at least 20 percent more per season for the games. With only two more weeks before the Super Bowl, we’ll see what these two media, as well as others like Amazon and Google, decide to do next.

 

[Featured image by Cleeng.]