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Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

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 »

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 »

Who are the best announcers in football?

Posted by ZA on November 20, 2009

The Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily have published their list of the top 25 football announcers for 2009.  The list includes football commentators from both college football and the NFL.  Twelve panelists from the SBJ & SBD rated the announcers to produce the rankings.

Top 25 Best Football Annoucers for 2009:
1. Gary Danielson – CBS
2. Cris Collinsworth – NBC
3. Al Michaels – NBC
4. Phil Simms – CBS
5. Kirk Herbstreit – ABC/ESPN
6. Troy Aikman – Fox
7. Ron Franklin – ABC/ESPN
8. Verne Lundquist – CBS
9. Joe Buck – Fox
10. Jim Nantz – CBS
11. Mike Tirico – ESPN
12. Brad Nessler – ABC/ESPN
13. Brent Musburger – ABC/ESPN
14. Jon Gruden – ESPN
15. Daryl Johnston – Fox
16. Ron Jaworski – ESPN
17. Greg Gumbel – CBS
18. Sean McDonough – ABC/ESPN
19. Todd Blackledge – ABC/ESPN
20. Dan Fouts – CBS
21. Bob Papa – NFL Network
22. Mike Patrick – ABC/ESPN
23. Chris Fowler – ESPN
24. Gus Johnson – CBS
25. Dick Enberg – CBS

Here are the guys that are rated too high:
* Buck – He’s in the top 10 based on his baseball rep.  He’s solidly average in football.
* Gruden – It would be “outstanding” if he could expand his vocabulary.
* Gumbel – Living off his brother’s rep.  He’s okay, but not top shelf.
* Fouts – Top 20, really?  Proves no one is watching those AFC West games on CBS.
* Papa – Who gets to see him broadcast?  Time Warner still doesn’t offer NFL Network.
* Enberg – Great career, but listing him is more of a ‘lifetime achievement award’.

Here are the guys that need to be rated higher on the list:
* Franklin – Could easily be the top college football guy on list.
* Musburger – Polarizing figure, but he’s great for the game.  Getting old, but still comedic gold.
* McDonough – Always solid, would be rated higher if he were more of a “name”.
* Johnson – The panelists not only rate him too low they slight him with “Youtube generation” comment.

Here are some key names that did not make the list:
* Erin Andrews – ESPN (Put a lady on the list)
* Bob Davie – ESPN
* Dan Dierdorf – CBS
* Ian Eagle – CBS
* Bob Griese – ESPN
* Kevin Harlan – CBS  (Should make top 25 in future)
* Craig James – ESPN
* Andrea Kremer – NBC
* Jesse Palmer – ESPN (Should be in top 25 in future)
* Tony Siragusa – Fox
* Dick Stockton – Fox

PS – Could some production assistant at ABC/ESPN do Mike Patrick a favor and get him a better photo?

Posted in CBS, College Football, ESPN, Fox, NBC, NFL, Sports Television | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What is a Super Bowl commercial worth?

Posted by ZA on August 3, 2009

How valuable is a television commercial during the Super Bowl? Apparently a lot less in the current economy.

CBS is reportedly selling spots for the 2010 Super Bowl in the $2-3 million dollar (per spot) range.  That amount is down considerably from the $2.4 million to $3 million per spot that NBC received on the 2009 Super Bowl.  CBS is selling cheaper because they have to given the current economy.  They are also telling potential buyers that they are negotiable on the price, something that NBC was (publicly) inflexible last year until the economy tanked.

Smart move by CBS to get aggressive on working with advertisers to get them involved in the big game.  There are lots of marquee brands that love to get the exposure the Super Bowl audience provides, but many of those have seen their ad budgets slashed.  By working with the potential advertiser to create a program, CBS is going to salvage some deals that might have otherwise walked away.  CBS will probably also benefit from hooking some of these advertisers into packages that include online, radio and other CBS-owned media properties.

I like this move, but if CBS really wanted to make a bold move they would publish the spot schedule with prices.  Imagine if they had a link from their website that showed all of the available commercial inventory during the broadcast.  The link would include all of the spots in order, which each spot having a price tag next to it.  If an advertiser has committed to the spot, then their name would be included (without revealing the price they paid).

I think this would be successful because it would create a buzz around advertisers to lock down the prime spots (which sell at higher prices).  It could also land some new deals from companies who might see a competitor listed and make the bold decision to buy a spot.  Imagine Heineken deciding to buy a spot immediately after (or before) a Budweiser or Miller spot.  Putting the information out there publicly might alienate some brands, but could get other new advertisers to step up to the table.  Because rather than negotiating the deals in backrooms, where favoritism rules the day, it would bring all dealings into the public domain.  Except of course the final agreed upon price should not be disclosed.

I even think CBS could take this strategy one step further by allowing Google & Microsoft (and other large online ad divisions) to each sell spots on their own sites, to earn a commission on the sale.  Maybe a Super Bowl commercial could even be auctioned off by Ebay (with a reserve price, of course).  The buzz alone generated by these moves would help to drive some sales and could even create a new online media property for CBS to sell ads for (i.e.- their web site listing all of the ads for sale on the Super Bowl).

This type of economy is when companies need to be most courageous.  CBS would be taking a big risk, but could also permanently change the way Super Bowl spots (and maybe others) are sold.  The change could have a positive financial impact now and down the road.  And before you remind me of the financial troubles of SpotRunner, I’ll say I think CBS has a few more resources than a 3rd-party site that is selling remnant commercial inventory.

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

Nike has every team in the 2009 Final Four

Posted by ZA on March 31, 2009

By the end of the week you will know every fact about every player on the four teams that are playing in the 2009 NCAA Final Four.  If you do not read them in your local newspaper or online, then you will hear about them on SportsCenter or from CBS during their broadcast.

But let’s examine one area of these programs that might not get covered by Dick Vitale on ESPNews.  Where is the money behind each program.  What are the partners that are generating the revenue needed to drive these powerful programs?  Let’s look at the brands supporting the teams in the Final 4.

We will reveal 4 key ingredients in each team’s sports brand:
1. Who handles their marketing & media rights.
2. Which company has their shoe contract.
3. Where they rank on list of college licensing (CLC 2008-2009 data).
4. Their team & athletic department sponsors.

Connecticut Huskies

  • Marketing partner: IMG College
  • Shoe contract: Nike
  • Licensing rank: 53rd
  • Sponsors: AT&T, Coca-Cola, Dunkin Donuts, Nike, People’s United Bank & Toyota.

Michigan State Spartans

  • Marketing partner: N/A
  • Shoe contract: Nike
  • Licensing rank: Did not rank top 75.
  • Sponsors: Alltel, Nike & Pontiac

North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Marketing partner: Learfield Sports
  • Shoe contract: Jordan Brand by Nike
  • Licensing rank: 8th
  • Sponsors: Capital Style, Continental Tire, Domino’s, Eye Care Associates, Jordan Brand, United Healthcare & Verizon Wireless, Wachovia.

Villanova Wildcats

  • Marketing partner: ISP Sports
  • Shoe contract: Nike
  • Licensing rank: 71st
  • Sponsors: Anthony Travel & Nike
Nike's big at the 2009 Final 4

Nike's big at the 2009 Final 4

One brand that has already won big at the Final Four is Nike, because they have endorsement deals with all four schools that qualified.  UConn, Michigan State and Villanova are Nike schools, while UNC is with Nike’s Jordan Brand.  Last year Nike only had two schools in the Final Four (Memphis & North Carolina), while rival Adidas had the UCLA Bruins and eventual National Champion Kansas Jayhawks.  This year Nike won’t be sharing the spotlight with anyone, so expect to see them roll out some support behind their four schools.

So as you watch the games this weekend, remember that these sponsors helped to fun the programs.  Sponsorship dollars are huge towards creating a successful program.

Posted in Nike | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »