BrandDunk

Branding the World of Sports

Archive for the ‘Sports Television’ Category

Best Super Bowl 45 commercial was Volkswagen

Posted by ZA on February 7, 2011

Overall the commercials in the 2011 Super Bowl were a major disappointment.  The best of the bunch was “The Force” from Volkswagen.  Next best was the NFL promotion that featured numerous television icons over the years.  I also enjoyed Best Buy’s humorous commercial with Ozzy Osborne and Justin Bieber.  I thought the Skechers commercial with Kim Kardashian did a good job of stealing Go Daddy’s thunder (i.e- using sex to sell).

On the other end of the spectrum, I think Coca-Cola lost its mind with the spots its played.  High production spots that lacked any redeeming qualities, aside from the production value.  Salesforce Chatter also seemed to bet on the wrong pitch persons, the Black Eyed Peas, who couldn’t save a dull commercial concept.  Stella Artois spot was boring and went no where, same with Bud’s first spot the “Wild West”.

Overall I didn’t think the 2011 Super Bowl commercials were very memorable, aside from a few.  I also failed to notice much cutting edge in-terms of integration of social media.  I expected someone to push the envelope there.  Madison Avenue – what are you guys waiting on to put out some good television commercials?

“The Force” by Volkswagen was best commercial in 2011 Super Bowl

Advertisements

Posted in CBS, NFL, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Who can compete with ESPN?

Posted by ZA on January 19, 2011

The FCC may have just unleashed the most viable option to compete against “the Worldwide Leader”.  NBC Universal and Comcast have the resources to go compete with the boys in Bristol.  But rather than me telling you about it, go read this excellent blog post from Dan Shanoff on how NBC Sports Network is setup to try to challenge ESPN.

If NBC Comcast is able to do some of the things Shanoff suggests, then we as fans win.  Because as great as ESPN is, they’ll be much better with competition.  They are “the Worldwide Leader” but I want to have a second option that is just as good.  I want to see Sunday Night Football quality broadcasts brought to more sports.  Now that NBC and Comcast are rolling up their sleeves, that might come very soon.

Posted in ESPN, Internet, NBC, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

ESPN will help NBA avoid a lockout

Posted by ZA on January 17, 2011

A good article in Ad Age by sports marketing guru, Rich Thomaselli, about the effects of an NBA lockout.  The article details who has the most to lose if the NBA does have a lockout next season.  There is $1 billion worth of television ad revenue at stake, much of that coming from ESPN.  One of the best points in the article is about how ESPN & Turner will fill open time slots in their TV schedules, if there is a lockout.  Thomaselli points out that ESPN doesn’t have NHL programming to fill open spots like they did during the NBA lockout in 1999.

That surely has got ESPN execs in Bristol nervous about the possibility of this lockout happening.  I mean it’s one thing for them to fill their Monday Night Football time slot if the NFL has a lockout, that is one night a week.  It would be something much greater for ESPN to have to find quality programming to fill multiple days of their week in place of their NBA broadcasts.  ABC would be scrambling as well to fill in holes, which would be especially painful since they just recorded their highest ratings ever for their Christmas Day NBA broadcasts.

So what happens to avert an NBA lockout?  I think the folks at the Worldwide Leader get involved to help negotiations. They will of course say they play no role in league versus labor issues, but they do.  ESPN is a brand maker, they can take a player and make him rich just by giving him the exposure that “Madison Avenue” craves.  So you better believe that ESPN has the ear of the players and their agents.  ESPN also works with the league to set the broadcast schedules and each owner knows the more his team is on TV the higher the value of his franchise climbs.  So in the end, I think ESPN helps the NBA to keep playing without a lockout.

If you are ESPN, it’s good to be the king.

Posted in ESPN, NBA, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What will FOX pay to broadcast the Olympics?

Posted by ZA on May 5, 2010

Variety reports that Fox is planning to make a “major run” at securing the rights to broadcast the 2014 Olympics (Sochi) and 2016 Olympics (Rio).  Fox would need to knock off incumbent broadcast partner, NBC, in order to land the Olympics.  NBC has been the television partner for the Olympics since 2000, but have said they lost money to broadcast the most recently Vancouver Olympics.  Fox is rumored to have bid much less than NBC (half is the reported number) for broadcast rights to ’08 & ’10 Olympics.

So how much will Fox bid on rights to the ’14 & ’16 Olympics? My guess is they bid somewhere in the $750 million range for each, which is well below the current broadcast rights on Olympics.  NBC will lay out close to $2 billion dollars for the rights to broadcast the ’10 Olympics and 2012 London Olympics (chart of broadcast rights paid on Olympics).  So the natural questions are why would Fox bid an amount lower than what it costs today?  And does Fox stand a chance to win the broadcast rights for the Olympics?

I think Fox bids $750 million (-ish) for each of Sochi & Rio because that’s what they think they are worth.  No network in their right mind should think that Sochi & Rio are going to have the revenue potential as London (2012) and Beijing (2008).  So Fox’s bid will be closer to what NBC paid in Athens ($793 million) and Sydney (Sydney $705 million) earlier this decade.  And it’s possible that Fox (and others) bid even lower on the 2014 Olympics, because Winter Games do not sell as well in the United States and Sochi isn’t a name destination.

I think Fox will have a shot, but probably loses out to NBC or ABC/ESPN.  NBC has made the Olympics their thing, so I think it’s worth it to them to bid more just so they can continue to be the “Olympic Network”.  ESPN is a sports media juggernaut 365 days a year, so they would have the potential to market the Olympics in a way we’ve never seen.  It just seems those two networks should want the Olympic broadcast rights more, so I think ultimately Fox’s bid will fall short.

Posted in ESPN, Fox, NBC, Olympics, Sports Television | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

2011 NCAA Tournament will show all games live

Posted by ZA on April 23, 2010

Every March Madness fan hates when the game they are watching gets switched to some other game that they care nothing about.  It often seems as if the producers at CBS were throwing us around from game to game just to play God with our emotions.  Well no more, because starting in 2011 every college basketball fan will be able to watch all NCAA Tournament games live on basic cable.

The $10.8 billion extension that the NCAA and CBS just reached for broadcast & internet rights also included Turner Broadcasting System.  CBS and Turner’s joint bid will let them air games from all four regions of the tournament on four separate channels.  Starting with the 2011 NCAA Tournament you can tune into CBS, TBS, TNT or TruTV to watch games.  Which means that every game will be shown live and available to all college hoops fans with basic cable.  This was a great move by the NCAA and television execs, one that makes me very happy as a fan.

Posted in CBS, College Basketball, College Sports, Sports Television, TV Rights Deals | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Magic Johnson & Larry Bird documentary on HBO

Posted by ZA on March 5, 2010

Tomorrow night HBO will debut their new documentary, “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals”.  The documentary will focus on two NBA superstars, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, who had similar upbringings which led to them being linked together on the court.  The former Lakers star and Celtics star have been linked together in a few projects in recent years, including a book by author Jackie MacMullan called When the Game Was Ours.

HBO generally does a good job with their sports documentaries, so “A Courtship of Rivals” should be worth watching. I know I’ll tune in.

Posted in NBA, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Buy 1 Super Bowl commercial, get 3 free Final Four spots

Posted by ZA on March 4, 2010

CBS aired back-to-back spots during the 2010 Super Bowl that each featured people in their underwear.  The first TV spot was for CareerBuilder and that was immediately followed by a very similarly themed commercial from Levi’s Dockers brand.  The two spots were similar enough that Dockers claims that TV viewers didn’t all recognize that they were from different advertisers.  To make good with Dockers CBS is giving the pants brand with 3 free commercials during the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The lesson to be learned here: If you complain loudly enough, then you are likely to get something free.  I’m sure Dockers executives were feeling the heat when their multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial underperformed.  They turned up the heat on CBS, who then caved and gave Dockers the make goods.  I’d guess that CBS probably also made Dockers commit to additional advertising during the NCAA Tournament, which is what softened the blow of giving away 3 valuable commercial slots.

Personally I think it would be interesting if the TV networks always placed competing brands (or creative, in this case) next to each other during the same commercial break.  Then consumers could decide which spot or brand was clearly better in one-on-one format.  Every time Bud Light airs a spot, Miller Lite follows them up and then the order switches the next time each plays.  Lumping the brands in next to each other would turn up the heat on the companies to produce winning creative each and every time, because no one wants to be responsible for losing the commercial break to their biggest competitor.  I think it would make all of the brands work harder to deliver a better product, because some of them seem to be mailing it in these days (I’m talking to you Taco Bell, on the Charles Barkley spot).

[Assist: Advertising Age]

Posted in CBS, Sports Marketing, Sports Television | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sneak preview: TruTV Super Bowl commercial

Posted by ZA on February 2, 2010

TruTV released a sneak preview of their television commercial that will air during the 2nd quarter of the 2010 Super Bowl.  The commercial is a promotion for TruTV’s new series, NFL FULL CONTACT, which will debut the Monday after the Super Bowl.

It’s appropriate that TruTV released the spot today because the Superbowl commercial has a Groundhog Day theme to it.  It features NFL player Troy Polamalu as Punxsutawney Phil (the famous groundhog), who gets pulled out of his stump by his famous hair and then does see his shadow.

Click here to see the TruTV commercial.

Posted in CBS, NFL, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Companies advertising in the 2010 Super Bowl

Posted by ZA on January 29, 2010

CBS sold spots for close to $3 million dollars for 30-seconds for the 2010 Super Bowl.  Did the $3 million dollar price tag deter many advertisers?  Some of the old guard, like General Motors and Pepsi dropped out, but there are still plenty of companies who want their chance in-front of the Super Bowl’s huge television audience.  Homeaway and kgb are two lesser known companies that will advertising during the 2010 Superbowl in hopes to build their brand.

Here are the companies that will be airing television commercials during the 2010 Super Bowl on CBS:

Anheuser-Busch
Audi
Boost Mobile (Sprint)
Bridgstone
CareerBuilder
Cars.com
Coca-Cola
Denny’s Restaurants
Diamond Foods (Pop-Secret popcorn)
Dockers
Dodge (Chrysler Group)
Doritos
E*Trade
Focus on Family (Christian family-help organization)
GoDaddy.com
Homeaway
Honda
Hyundai
kgb (directory assistance)
Kia
Mars (Snickers)
Monster.com
Motorola
Papa John’s Pizza
Teleflora
TruTV (Time Warner)
US Census Bureau
Viacom & Paramount Pictures (“Shutter Island”, “Iron Man 2” and “The Last Airbender”)
Volkswagen

Posted in CBS, NFL, Sports Television | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

NBC will lose money on 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Posted by ZA on January 12, 2010

According to NBC Sports president, Dick Ebersol, the peacock is going to lose money to broadcast the Olympics for the first time in their history showing the Games.  AdAge article quoted Ebersol as saying, “…we will, for the first time in all my years at NBC, lose money on an Olympics”.  Ebersol blamed the cost to secure the broadcast rights for the Olympics and a slumping economy which hurt early ad sales.

NBC Sports paid over $800 million dollars to broadcast the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.  That amount was just below the near $900 million they paid for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  But the Summer Olympics generate a ton more ad sales revenue than their winter counterpart.  That is why the IOC sells the broadcast rights commitment as a block of two that includes the upcoming Summer and Winter Games; you cannot buy rights to the Summer Games without taking the Winter Olympics as well.

In addition to the broadcast rights, NBC also has to spend heavily on production costs for the Olympics.  They have a staff of hundreds that broadcast from a remote location for the 2 weeks of the Olympics; some of those people have been in Vancouver for more than a year getting setup for these games.  So NBC has big costs to recoup on their Olympics production.  One key to doing so will be to build up campaigns around Winter Games athletes that get US television viewers to tune in during the Olympics.  If NBC can create interest in the athletes and sports of the Winter Games, then they will make more money on their broadcast rights.

Posted in NBC, Olympics, Sports Television | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »