Football contests appeal to advertisers and can reach target audiences
We recently talked about how local media can position themselves as the go-to destination for promotional dollars as online revenue begins to shift from advertising to promotion spending thanks to the unique factors that media outlets have working in their favor. Football contests are the perfect example of how media outlets can use promotions to generate revenue, increase consumer engagement, grow their email databases and enhance their advertising base.
For many outlets, it is no exaggeration to say that their football contest represents the largest part of their overall football revenue.
While media outlets geographies and reach vary, we have seen a fundamental model emerge over the years that maximizes the success of football contests. Here’s how it works. Recently, we hosted a “How to Sell a Football Contest” webinar to show you the revenue opportunity around this popular sport.
Pick’em Delivers for Local Media
The most effective type of a football contest is a pick’em contest – where contestants pick the results of each week’s games over the course of a season. The pick’em format works well for all levels of football – professional, college or high school. Contests centered on the Pro Football season spread the promotion across 22 weeks (including the playoffs) and keep audience consistently engaged with advertisers and their brand. Local media’s ability to provide a captive audience for an extended period of time greatly enhances the sponsorship’s value for prospective advertisers.
Secure Multiple Sponsors
While exclusive sponsorships are great, local media can maximize their sponsorships by opening up their contests to multiple advertisers. In that regard, it is not unusual for one pick’em football contest to generate 10-12 sponsors. One of our best success stories, The Wichita Eagle, produced more than $100,000 through a single football contest by using a multi-sponsor approach. Another great result came from The Schenectady Gazette (45k daily circ), which through multiple sponsors generated more than $70,000 through their football contest. Even outlets with a smaller reach can see tremendous success with football. The Chillicothe News (3k daily circ) paper generated $10,000 by securing multiple sponsors and offering a an integrated promotional campaign. Successful football contests represent a prime opportunity to bring new sponsors into the fold and create relationships that will benefit your outlet for years to come.
Give Sponsors VIP Treatment
Local media can add tremendous value for their sponsors by positioning them as “VIP Pickers.” VIP Pickers get their picks published each week in a highly visible area of the contest page and an equally important space in print or on-air, along with a photo and credential with their business information. This tactic brings your sponsors to life by connecting them with your audience on personal level as readers will want to compare their picks with the VIPs. This one of the main reasons football contests can attract multiple patrons.
Many properties also position their sports columnists or on-air personalities as VIP Pickers to enhance the credibility of their VIP sponsors. Outlets that want to go the extra mile can feature one VIP Picker outlining the logic behind their picks to add another layer of value and depth to the overall package.
Take an Integrated Media to Sponsorships
We have long said that one of local media’s greatest strengths in promotions is their ability to integrate multiple channels of communications into their sponsorship packages to create additional value for sponsors. Media outlets can tap into promotional assets such as e-blasts, front page placements, coupon exposure, on-air features, print ads, web ads, wraps and much more. These unique promotional options add significant value for sponsors by enhancing consumer awareness at prices other industries cannot match. Media outlets should fully exploit these options through integrated sponsorship opportunities around their football contests.
Beyond the Football Season
While some of the best practices above are specific to football, know that advertisers will be looking to engage with consumers in new and exciting ways during the other eight months of the year as well. Whether the promotion is a football pick’em pool or a cutest kids contest, local media that are able to provide advertisers with new ways to interact with their target audiences, generate additional value through creative solutions and attract multiple sponsors in each contest will position themselves to capitalize on new revenue opportunities during football season and beyond.