American Family Insurance will be the national sponsor of CBSSports.com's coverage of what has become college football's biggest annual online event - National Signing Day. It's the first time CBS has sold a network-wide ad buy centering on the day, which entails high school football recruits signing letters-of-intent to universities around the nation.
The ad buy includes dozens of official athletics sites for college teams, as well as the network's national property for this niche, MaxPreps.com. Ad units will include homepage takeovers, video pre-roll, box, banner, and other display formats.
For decades, National Signing Day has occurred on the first Wednesday of February. Typically, college football fans spend unusual amounts of time at their teams' sites to see what players they will be rooting for in the future. The most ardent take a vacation day from work to track the developments in real-time. To that end, MaxPreps.com will be running an eight-hour live National Signing Day video show to track the biggest player signings around the country.
American Family Insurance ads will be a constant during the video program and all other related CBSSports.com coverage. The ad creative will entail parents driving their kids' youth teams to their games, while targeting mothers and fathers aged roughly 30 to 55 years old.
Madison, WI-based American Family Insurance appears to be building on its recent sponsorships of televised high school football all-star games, such as the Under Armour All-American Game. John Feyrer, VP of ad sales for MaxPreps.com, wouldn't disclose how much the insurance company is paying for the sponsorship. Last year, he said, the CBS network of college sites produced 2 million unique viewers during the one-day event.
"We are able to generate a lot of content around [signing day]," Feyrer said. "It really makes for a vibrant discussion on that particular day. Signing day has grown into a huge event… American Family will own the branding experience on our sites."
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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