After what has been the shortest break in the history of football, the glorious game will be making its return around the world this weekend.
Fans may not have had to wait long between the end of last season and the start of the 20/21 season but oh, what a welcome relief it will be.
It feels like the entire world has completed Netflix, speed-running their way through reruns of old TV programs. With TV production affected by COVID-19, also leaving viewers with limited new content to engage with, football will provide us with a platform that is delivering fresh and exciting content.
With that said, it prompts the question of what can brands do differently to engage with the audience? This audience is not fully engaged with TV, out-of-home (OOH) advertising is down as COVID-19 still poses a real threat around the world, and digital platforms are becoming less captivating!
Could live football be the answer?
All around the world, sports fans are one of the most sought-after demographics for brands. This is especially the case in Turkey where 75% of the population is “interested” or “very interested” in football, revealed a 2018 Nielsen survey.
Of these football fans, many are tech savvy and skilled at removing traditional forms of advertising from their lives.
A recent survey from Capital Sports Media found that 67% of this target demographic have installed ad blockers on their devices, while 51% of all display ads purchased are unavailable.
While this data may make brands feel a little nervous, it is possible to successfully engage with this audience through formats built into the live content, such as the LED perimeter boards around the pitch.
Capital Sports Media recently engaged with several brands, who are actively targeting a sporting demographic, but had not considered the LED formats inside the stadium of clubs across the league due to fear of alienating fans from the opposing team.
Yet, they would be more than happy to pay for a non-exclusive 30-second TV spot that will run in front of the same demographic, before the start of the same football match, reaching the same consumer at a much higher price point.
What is it about the LED formats inside a stadium that gives brands concern? Considering these formats offer live advertising content that offers exclusivity within their category, is un-skippable, and can connect with a fully-engaged audience of over 8.7 million people per game across Turkey.
It seems like the best thing to happen to brands since verified social media accounts!
Is it really down to the fact that these formats are inside the opposition’s stadium? Or do brands need to evolve their thinking to begin to accept the way the sport has changed over the last five years?
These clubs are more than just football clubs. They are media platforms and entertainment channels that produce and deliver some of the most sought after and demanded content anywhere in the world.
Be it watching yet another sublime Barcelona goal from Lionel Messi, or the once-in-a-lifetime Leicester City Premier League title charge; fans are opening up to all clubs and brands.