Are High Profile Sports The Right Fit For Your Local Media Campaign?

local media planning

High profile sporting events can take a huge bite out of your local media budget, so consider when the investment makes sense and when should you pass on the opportunity.

It’s exciting to think about watching your commercial in high profile sports events, like March Madness, BCS Championship or even the Super Bowl.  These events are sure to draw high viewership and reach the masses.  In major sporting events, commercials can take a larger role than the game itself.

The following considerations will help determine if this programming is the right investment for your local media budget.


In a survey conducted by marketing research company Lab42, 39% of respondents said the commercials in the Super Bowl were their favorite part of the game, while 28% said watching the football game itself was their primary interest.

Regardless of the reason why people are watching the game, the ratings delivered by the Super Bowl and other major sporting events far exceed ratings of other broadcast opportunities.

You will undoubtedly reach a large number of people with your ads running in these games.  But, consider if you are reaching the right people with your message.


While the cost of an ad in the Super Bowl nationally can be upwards of $4 million, the good news is there are also local broadcast breaks that reduce the cost for local advertisers.

Most major sporting events provide opportunities for local advertisers to run their ads, but these spots are typically priced at a premium and can still take a large investment of money.

One way to look at this investment is on a cost per rating point basis (CPP).  How does the cost per rating point compare to other premium programming you are also considering?  Since one rating point equates to one percent of your target audience, does this investment make sense when compared to other similar high profile programming?


One final consideration is how much money does this premium sporting event take out of your budget?  If your budget is very small, does it make sense to take a large percentage of the budget and invest in this opportunity?

Research has proven people need to hear or see a message at least 3 times before they will react on it.  If you are only able to afford one spot in the event, and the impact on your budget leaves you very little extra dollars for achieving your reach and frequency goals, you might reconsider whether the investment is wise for your local media campaign.

The cost to run spots in high profile sporting events can be quite expensive.  Make sure it is a wise investment of money for your local media campaign.

photo credit: JohnSeb via photopin cc

Linda Thomas

About Linda Thomas

Linda is the Director of Media Services at Sheehy+Associates, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. With over 25 years in the industry, there isn¹t much she hasn¹t seen or done with regard to media planning and placement on a local, regional or national level.

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