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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : March 12, 2010

Consumers showing brand loyalty in video space

Another big event is just a week away, and many advertisers have signed on. Just a few weeks after the Olympics, March Madness has descended and college basketball fans are rabidly consuming content, specifically video content. This is great for marketers - as long as they are in the right place. Unfortunately, some may miss the boat because of consumers' loyalty to sports broadcasting brands.

by Kristina Knight

ESPN is one big name in American sports coverage, and even though CBS owns the rights to broadcast the round robin tournament starting next Thursday many fans indicate they will look to ESPN for coverage, highlights and information. According to a new Unicast report consumers will be turning online for live game coverage, video clips, highlights and more for the 2010 tournament. Nearly 70% of consumers report they will first turn to ESPN, another 42% indicated they would choose Yahoo Sports and only 29% said they would turn to

Yahoo Sports beat out the NBC Olympics hub for total audience size during the Olympic Games in February. Why are sites like Yahoo Sports and ESPN trumping the hubs with exclusive content? There could be several reasons but the biggest is that both ESPN and Yahoo Sport cater to the sports fanbase during all sports seasons. Consumers trust their coverage and are used to turning there for information. Although CBS will exclusively run live games, that can't trump consumers' loyalty and comfort with other entities.

What type of information will consumers look for online?

• 58% plan to monitor scores
• 54% plan to watch live games
• 53% plan to check brackets
• 49% plan to watch highlights

"On the heels of the extensive online coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament offers online publishers another premium sporting event that will generate high traffic from consumers looking to follow the tournament outside their living rooms," said Bryan Hjelm, VP of Marketing for Unicast. "Digital innovations like iPhone apps, online bracket tools and streaming video are bringing basketball fever to a growing online audience of fans. "Sites like and Yahoo! Sports will dominate traffic due to their inherent sports fan user base, which make them prime real estate this month for marketers targeting the typical visitor - men aged 18 to 35."

Although the hub cannot be ignored by marketers, it is clear that sports ad buys, at least for this event, should be spread over a variety of content hubs to capture a greater online audience.

Tags:, ESPN, loyalty, March Madness, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, online video, Unicast, video advertising, video content, Yahoo Sports

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