Why Connected TV is Winning the Sports Advertising Game

How brands can tap into live sports to resonate with next-gen audiences

Sports advertising is having its moment. Major live events like March Madness and the Super Bowl have become prime advertising opportunities for marketers looking to engage with a highly engaged, diverse audience. Already, the 2024 Olympics have shaped up to be a blockbuster for the industry with US broadcaster NBCU reporting a record $1.2 billion in ad sales.

The rise of connected TV (CTV) has played a central role in the growth of sports advertising, bringing live events to a broader audience and introducing new engagement tactics during gameplay. DISQO’s 2024 CTV Benchmarks underscore how powerful CTV platforms can be in building brands, and also showcase their growing capabilities to fuel performance outcomes. It’s no wonder that brands are looking to capitalize on the CTV’s ability to amplify the sports advertising opportunity.

DISQO is publishing a new report on sports advertising in the coming weeks to help marketers make the most of their investments. As a pre-read, we outline why connected TV is helping brands tap into the power of live sporting events.

Delivering value to sports enthusiasts with connected TV advertising

Sports fandom extends far beyond the TV screen. From sports betting to fantasy leagues to athlete influencers, consumers are finding more enjoyment in sports from activations that go beyond simply watching a game. For this reason, CTV is uniquely suited to deliver value to users in a way that linear TV cannot. Read on to learn why.

Immersive and interactive ad formats

CTV platforms offer a variety of interactive ad formats that can engage viewers in novel ways. From “advergaming” to “choose your own adventure” ads, these formats provide a dynamic and immersive experience that keeps people engaged. During the Super Bowl, for example, we saw a range of innovative activations from advertisers on Paramount+, such as interactive overlays and QR codes. These strategies drove record engagement. The real-time value and interaction intrigues viewers and engages them through the same sportsmanship-mentality drawing them to live events in the first place.

Targeting innovations

One of CTV advertising’s clear differentiators from linear TV, which casts a wide net, is its ability to precisely target audiences. With sophisticated analytics, CTV devices allow advertisers to home in on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, including fans of particular teams or sports. Consider messaging that automatically updates based on location or viewing history. This contextual, targeted content empowers brands to reach audiences at the most impactful moments.

Cross-channel synergies

Sports viewing doesn’t happen on one channel alone. CTV can seamlessly integrate with social media and other digital campaigns to create a cohesive multi-platform strategy. This not only ensures a consistent brand experience, but also maximizes visibility across various touchpoints. Cross-channel exposure fosters a stronger connection with audiences, making content more relevant and memorable.

Full-funnel benefits

Our benchmarks found that CTV campaigns perform particularly well on brand metrics, outperforming cross-channel benchmarks on metrics such as brand familiarity, favorability, and purchase intent. The rise of shoppable ads, QR codes, and live links have also facilitated the path to purchase directly from CTV ads. Brands have an opportunity to not only build brand awareness, but also drive valuable performance outcomes.

1/3 of people plan to subscribe to Peacock specifically to watch the Olympic Games

Consumer insights to maximize connected TV sports advertising success!

With the rise of CTV and other digital platforms, sports viewership is shifting rapidly. Brands need to stay on top of how people are engaging with live sports programming across channels and devices. They also need to understand what expectations consumers have for advertising to deliver content that resonates.

DISQO’s forthcoming Sports Advertising report will cover all of this and more, just in time for the Olympics. We found that nearly a third of consumers are planning to subscribe to Peacock specifically to watch the Olympics, which speaks to CTV’s growing influence in sports marketing. The takeaway is clear: consumers are willing to spend if they receive exclusive value in return. Stay tuned for more insights!

As a pre-read, download our CTV Benchmarks report for a deep dive into how brands can leverage CTV’s unique strengths to make the most of sports advertising.

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