While Yahoo's recent struggles have been well-documented, it's sports content efforts remain a bright spot for the company and its brand advertisers. Sunnyvale, CA-based Yahoo says it has seen a 15 percent lift in new fantasy football participants for the 2011 NFL season compared to last year. Dedicated fantasy sponsors Toyota, Pizza Hut, and Miller Lite are the beneficiaries.
A Yahoo spokesperson told ClickZ News that the company "saw 26 days of six-figure sign-ups heading into the [NFL] season," which kicked off last night. ComScore's July numbers also indicate Yahoo Sports is performing strongly, reporting that the brand beat rival ESPN.com for unique visitors, 48 million to 36 million.
On the fantasy football sponsorship level, brands like Toyota are not just appearing online, but also through Yahoo Sports mobile and social plays. For instance, the carmaker is sponsoring Yahoo's fantasy football iPhone/Android app, iPad app, the "Citizen Sports" app on Facebook, and other social placements. It's the brand’s fifth year as a Yahoo fantasy football sponsor.
Toyota credits its five-year sponsorship with driving significant lift in brand metrics and traffic to its mobile and websites.
"Yahoo's game is the largest of all fantasy football games," said Toyota Senior Media Strategist Kim Kyaw. "It's a diverse audience that is incredibly passionate and engaged. It's hard to find programs online that offer the same level of built-in reach and engagement over the course of the football season."
Pizza Hut is also an iPad sponsor. And, the retail chain is running banners within Yahoo's fantasy football game, while sponsoring a sweepstakes for players who want to win a trip to Las Vegas.
Lastly, Miller Lite is sponsoring the fantasy league's recent mock and live player draft features on Yahoo’s iPhone/Android app. Consumers' last chance to join a league and draft a team is Oct. 21.
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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