Where stealing is not a crime and travelling is illegal

by attackofthelines

The magic of sports is for everyone – guys, gals, kids, oldies. For sports nuts, there’s nothing more heavenly than plopping down on your favorite couch, watching the game live on the TV screen (if they can’t watch LIVE that is), cheering wildly for your favorite team, being a third commentator next to those from the station, and switching the channel when the team is going to lose. Ooops, I guess that’s just me.

Which is why advertising on sports events and programs is such a lucrative business. As co-presentor, a company can expose their brand steadily for 2, 3, or even 4 hours straight (and in all promotional materials) with no fear of viewers changing the channel. The trend today is more than just placing ads on those screens around the court and showing commercials between breaks and timeouts. Companies and brands can sponsor segments on the show like text polls or assist/three-pointer/dunk/kick/goal/whathaveyou of the day. And if you’d look a little closer, you’d be able to see whether your favorite player or team has a swoosh, three stripes, or a crocodile proudly sewn over their chests.

Of course you’d have to compete with the sports action but really, people are bound to notice your brand in the course of several hours.

Let me give you some examples (but really, just because I’m excited to talk about sports).

During basketball games, whether its the NBA, the PBA, the UAAP, or the NCAA, it’s usual to see the changing rollers or the LCD screens around the perimeter of the court where brands and products get exposure all game long. A little shoutout to Sir Barry: really, the Unilab logo and name are as conspicuous as they can get (not that I’m complaining). Then there’s the instant replay/amazing assist/smashing dunk/shot or assist of the game/player of the game sponsorship. Then, co-presentorship where the company really gets every bit of exposure it can get. And in the PBA, it already says a lot for the company or brand if they sponsor a team. READ: Company TEAM (with professional players of course). As in name the team after the company or brand.

For tennis, advertising is a little bit subtler (just a little bit). Brands are placed on the walls around the court, the Ralph Lauren or Lacoste logo on the ballkids or on the umpire’s shirts, the Perrier cooler between the players’s seats. And then there’s the sponsored outfit for the players. You’d associate Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams with Nike and Andy Roddick with Lacoste. For the last several years, Sony Ericsson sponsored both the ATP and the WTA (now, it’s just the WTA). So yeah, there’s  the logo on the nets.

Then there’s baseball, one of the most (I think) advertising-heavy sports. Advertising efforts are everywhere – from placements on walls around the field, LCD spots high on the stands, branding on the main LCD display, scoreboard sponsorships, text quizzes and polls sponsorships, live acknowledgments, and really, name it, they got it.

And then, football. During the last FIFA World Cup games, brands like Citibank, Kia, and Hyundai have practically stamped their logos on every promotional material that ran for months before and during the competition. Other sponsors and advertisers made their mark during the games, with their logos sitting innocently but noticeably on the photo wall behind the coaches and players when they make their comments after the games. Not to mention the exposure and the branding on FIFA’s website which thousands of netizens visit a lot of times even before the games actually started. Not to mention the Barclay’s Premiere League. If that doesn’t speak for itself, I don’t know what will (Barclay is a bank). There’s a trend nowadays that companies and brands sponsor whole sports events.

Then there’s golf (much talk about Tiger’s sponsors), motorsports (seriously, it seems that the car and motorcycle bodies are made up of logos and brands, not the actual, uh, bodies),  American football, hockey. All have their share of advertising.

Go crazy.

And then there’s the internet. You name it. Website branding, ad spaces, banners, widgets, really, what have you. And then there are the fantasy sports leagues. Castrol is sponsoring its own F1 fantasy league and even offer prizes for the winning managers. Some fantasy leagues also have advertising pretty much like the real thing. And what’s really good about online efforts is that companies can better target their consumers. If the brand is targeting the more hardcore sports nuts (those who are not just satisfied with their TV sets), advertising online is a good way to reach them.

There are also sports forums and fanpages. Now those are gold mines for advertisers. These are places where not only discussions about sports stats and strategies go on but also talk about what product this player or team is using, what they are wearing, and how the newest aerodynamic Nike pair of shoes, can make your (and consequently, you) favorite player leap from half court to the basket.  By advertising on these sites, you’d be able to further convince and persuade sports people and fans to buy your product. You’ll
also be able to listen in on what they think about your brand (the eternal argument whether Nike is better than Adidas) and what they want from you (my feet can’t breathe in this pair of shoes; I can’t run in these!) The possibilities are endless.

Sports is about pushing the boundaries of the human body and spirit. I also think it’s pushing the boundaries of human thought and its capacity to think of advertising campaigns. As Adidas says it, “Impossible is nothing.”