Brands Look to Score With NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ Webcasts

NBC is offering separate ad sponsorships for the online broadcast of “Sunday Night Football,” which is appearing on the network’s website for the third straight season. The program kicked off last night, as the network presented the first televised football game of the season in a pre-season matchup between Dallas and Cincinnati. Lexus, Lowes, Lincoln, and Droid were the advertisers appearing at NBCSports.com during the webcast.

Whether or not those brands appear throughout the regular season, said NBC Sports spokesperson Adam Freifeld, remains to be seen. “We are currently in the process of securing season-long sponsorships,” he explained in an e-mail to ClickZ.

Each of the these brands ran either a 15- or 30-second spot between game action that was accompanied by a masthead-styled banner. Their banner also appeared in a rotation throughout the three-hour ballgame. Lexus ran video ads for its ongoing “Golden Opportunity Sales Event” campaign, which ends Sept. 7. It was accompanied by a clickable banner with copy that read, “this is the pursuit of perfection” and “discover what’s now possible.”

Lowe’s video and banners reflected its “Home 101” campaign, which has been running throughout the summer in TV ads while targeting new homeowners. Ads directed viewers to Lowes.com/Home101, where visitors could see how-to videos about home maintenance and other information.

Ford Motor purchased spots for its newest Lincoln car series in an effort dubbed, “Premium Seats Promotion.” The video and banner encouraged viewers to sign up for a chance to win either a new car or a trip to New York City. Unlike the static banners run by the first two brands, Lincoln’s was a rich media placement during game action and TV timeouts. (See image below.) Interestingly, the promos visually showed a female tennis player and a bouncing tennis ball – suggesting that the trip to New York would include tickets to the U.S. Open later this month. But there’s no mention of the tennis tournament in the ad copy or on the landing page.

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Lastly, the Droid spots highlighted the smartphone’s available apps and other functionalities as Google – and partner Verizon, in this case – continues to attempt to show the consumer marketplace its product is either on par or superior to Apple’s iPhone.

Meanwhile, Freifeld from NBC Sports wouldn’t divulge whether his media company charges CPM or CPC rates for the ads. He said some brands appearing online during last night’s game were repeat advertisers from last season.

It’s fairly typical for the webcast purchases to be packaged with a TV buy, Freifeld suggested. “Certainly you’ll see many of the same advertisers as on-air, but we sell the digital spots separately,” he said.

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

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