NFL games are undoubtedly one of the top attendance sporting events around the country. With thousands of attendees and fans paying top dollar for tickets, it is no wonder that sponsors and advertisers consider these to be some of the premium venues for the year. The most well-known brands, and names vie for attention with imaginative marketing campaigns, all geared to get the fan to buy their products and spend money. Their marketing message does come at a price, as these are some of the most expensive advertising campaigns in existence.
The concept of supply and demand is really important to note for advertising. Since there are only eight games played, per year, this sets the limit and therefore increases the cost of advertising. In 2011, Team Marketing Report released the cost of what an average family of four would spend to be at an NFL game. The results included tickets, food, parking, programs and two adult caps and showed an average price paid of $427.42. Marketing companies know that people are in the mode to spend money and they create targeted campaigns to appeal to this attitude.
In 2013, Forbes released their report entitled The Business of the NFL. Nationally, between sponsorship, national media and licensing, the teams received $180 million dollars each for the 2012 season. Many of the stadiums and teams receive premium advertising and sponsorship income and each one has their own formula or requirements. The Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys stadiums charged fees that seem to top the charts. Advertising signage and sponsorship for The Cowboys for 2012 was at $100 million. The Buffalo Bills and Raiders bring in a bit less in revenue for sponsorship at $20 million. This total was prior to the 25 year deal with AT&T for a whopping $500 million in naming rights.
But high cost advertising is not limited to the larger teams. Minor league baseball and the stadiums that promote their teams are big money for advertisers and marketing experts alike. Teams like the Sacramento River Cats pulled in well-known advertisers such as Coca-Cola. When the overall costs of these games are configured in the lower brackets (as compared to the major sports venues) it means fatter profits for the teams and the stadiums. The top twenty of these teams earned revenue of around $9.8 million per team.
As stadiums add banners, multi-media, video, high resolution graphics, real time internet streams and mobile app downloads, they offer a multitude of omni-channel choices for advertisers. The target audience is indeed a trapped audience, viewing a game that can often take three hours. Some of the basketball stadiums have added a remote control blimp that circles the court, dropping sponsor advertising, tickets and collectibles.
Marketing gurus have combined the concept of electronic scoreboards with ribbon-boards, back projected ads, and even rear-screen projection on glass. Sponsors are paying high prices so that everywhere a fan looks, they will see a brand or message.