North American sports sponsorships will approach $15 billion in 2015 (Statistica 2015). Sports advertising is seeing a rise in digital spend but because it’s primary vehicle is television the growth rate in digital and mobile spend is not pacing the same as other industries. Is all of that about to change? As entertainment providers like HBO and others go independent from cable will sports follow? Or will the broadcast, network and distribution deals continue to keep the big sports locked into more traditional channels through more and more expensive rights deals to the leagues? There is no question that a tide of consumers would cut the cord on cable if it weren’t for sports. The second the NFL or others offer and HD streaming package for every game through smart TVs, set top boxes and mobile devices many consumers will shift their monthly cable subscription dollars, especially for displaces fans. What does this do to the advertising spend? When the content is now available in a fragmented way the inventory, sponsorships and formats take new shape and will need to evolve.
Sports advertising is also seeing diversification as niche sports gain popularity and distribution providing more specific audience attributes to target. It is an interesting time to watch how sports advertising, marketing, distribution and programming will respond to the rapid changes happening in consumer expectations around how technology should power their experiences.
The Sports Track at Advertising Week, presented by Octagon, will provide insights for agencies, advertisers, and brands interested in how the changing landscape will effect their future planning.