September 4, 2020

Brand Fact
According to Mediaradar, companies in the financial industry have spent the most on advertising during the return to play, accounting for 18.6% of ad spend.


Top Story

In win for networks, Nielsen begins incorporating out-of-home viewership

Nielsen, the go-to provider for linear television ratings and viewership numbers, has updated its protocols to make a long-needed change from networks’ perspectives. The company will now include “out-of-home” viewership in its totals, which include those who are watching in bars, restaurants and workplaces, for example. Some sports networks, like ESPN, had already subscribed to the company’s standalone out-of-home reporting service that launched in 2017.

How will this change the industry?

That will mean a boost to viewership — by as much as about 10% in some cases, some early data has shown — which in turn could mean a boost to ad dollars for networks. Some ad agencies are reportedly upset with Nielsen, as they will now have to pay for viewers they were essentially previously getting for free. Last year, Nielsen rolled out plans to make the change in time for the fall 2020 TV season. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company said it would delay the move as most out-of-home viewing locales were closed.

Networks strongly objected, however, as they had already sold ads based on projected metrics that included OOH viewership. With the NFL season looming, that would have meant a major headache from reworking ad desks. Several network executives said that “most of their ad deals for the fall “place some sort of value on the OOH measurement.” Nielsen reversed its decision a day later and rolled out the metric on Sept. 1.

The bottom line:

“This is a big deal for sports. Basically from the day I started at Fox the two things that were often talked about as potential game-changers for sports TV were legal gambling and out-of-home ratings. Now they’re both here,” Fox Sports EVP Michael Mulvihill said on Twitter. “We know from preliminary data that the OOH sports audience is younger, more female and more diverse than the in-home audience. Will that change how sports are valued? We’re already seeing huge impact to local MLB viewing among young people.”

Read: Front Office Sports


ESPORTS

‘Gaming is where culture is being set’: Bud Light gets serious about esports

Sometimes it pays to be the biggest and the first. This is how Bud Light has established itself in one of the fastest-growing sectors in media — esports. While the beer brand isn’t the only big advertisers in esports, it is one of the more pervasive. Over the last five years, Bud Light has sponsored some of the biggest properties in the category such as League of Legends and NBA 2K. And now, doubling down on esports, it has created its own. Earlier this week, the advertiser launched ‘Battle of the Best’ on its Twitch channel where some of the platform’s top streamers and personalities will compete against each other in a medley of games between Sept. 1 and Sept. 4.

Now, the gaming industry is more than just people buying video games. And when there are rappers like Post Malone who co-own esports teams and the son of NBA star LeBron is part of a professional esports organization, it makes it easier for gaming to reach a broader audience. The latter point is where Joe Barnes, director of sports marketing at Bud Light, sees the sweet spot for where Bud Light’s esports marketing crosses over into what it does around live sports. Sooner likelier than later athletes on Bud Light’s sponsorship roster could appear on its Twitch channel, instead of a TV ad. “We’re being approached by athletes all the time who want to be involved because they like to game,” said Barnes. “We’ll work on the partnerships we already have in place to bring them into our ecosystem on Twitch and the Bud Light channel there. Gaming is where culture is being set.”

Read: Digiday


BETTING

DraftKings, Cubs planning a physical sports book next to Wrigley Field

DraftKings has signed a multi-year sports betting deal with the Chicago Cubs that will see a physical sports book installed outside Wrigley Field. It’s the latest team partnership for DraftKings, one aimed at helping it gain market share in one of the country’s newest and most important sports betting markets. The company will become the team’s exclusive sports betting partner, including in-venue signs and some digital advertising. The physical location will be located somewhere in Wrigleyville, the area immediately outside the stadium that carries a tailgate-like atmosphere on game days. It will serve food and drink, and cater to a subset of bettors that prefer to wager in person, as opposed to on their phones.

One other critical aspect of this Wrigley location: It will be a place where new customers can sign up for the DraftKings app. Illinois law says that gamblers need to first sign up at an operator’s physical location before they can wager online. While that’s been temporarily waived by the governor through a COVID-19 disaster proclamation, if it’s reinstated the Wrigleyville locations could give DraftKings a convenient place for Chicagoans to register. Without it, city residents would need to travel 300 miles southwest to East St. Louis, Ill., to sign up for the DraftKings app.

Read: Sportico


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TECHNOLOGY

With tech development, US Open courts will still have live atmosphere

The empty stands prompted the USTA to hunt for ways to bring missing fans’ voices into Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums. Kirsten Corio, USTA managing director for ticketing and social strategy, and her team sat through at least 25 remote pitches from companies hawking novel tech ideas to create a virtual fan presence. They ultimately settled on Fan Cam Powered by American Express, created by Wasserman’s CrowdAmp, in which fans can submit recordings of themselves cheering that are then added to a library that match producers can play in-stadium or on the broadcast throughout a match. Fan Cam will only be available through the U.S. Open app. Cardmembers can also directly ask questions of their favorite players.

“We really wanted players on the court to be able to see fan cheers and hear their voices, get to as close to normal as possible in the stadium,” said Corio. “We wanted them to feel that energy, and we wanted fans to feel like they had a role to play in that live match.”

Read: SBJ


LEAGUES

Premier League cancels UK£523m Chinese rights deal

English soccer’s top-flight Premier League has confirmed the termination of its lucrative UK£523 million (US$719 million) Chinese broadcast partnership with PPTV. The Suning-owned streaming service’s UK£160 million (US$209 million) instalment for the 2019/20 season had been outstanding since February and now the Premier League has now taken action by cancelling its biggest overseas rights contract with two seasons left to run.

Earlier reports regarding the Premier League’s dispute with Suning suggested PPTV put forward a proposal to extend the contract by three years at a reduced annual rate. Given the lucrative fees it was promised by PPTV, and the dip in domestic rights revenue following a 2019 tender process, the Premier League reportedly rejected that suggestion. The termination comes amid strained relations between the UK and China following the British government’s ban on Huawei’s technology for its 5G network. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also heightened tensions between the two countries with his recent pledge to offer British residency to up to three million Hong Kong residents affected by China’s move to tighten its grip on the island.

Read: SportsPro


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DEAL OF THE DAY

Bojangles Drafts 3 New Colleges for 2020 Lineup of Team-Themed Big Bo Boxes

The Details

Fans of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of Tennessee and East Carolina University: pull up a chair to one of the South’s greatest traditions. Bojangles’ limited-time, 2020 collection of team-themed Big Bo Boxes is growing, as the home of made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits and perfectly seasoned fried chicken drafts three new colleges to join its squad. The rookies are joining the roster of legends including the University of Alabama, Clemson University, East Tennessee State University, James Madison University, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, University of Virginia, Western Carolina University and – of course – Bojangles’ NFL home team, the Carolina Panthers.


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