Nascar Beat Olympics in February Traffic Race

Stellar TV ratings for NBC’s Olympic coverage didn’t exactly translate into superb online traffic numbers for the network’s dedicated Web site. drew roughly 10.4 million unique visitors last month, which represented a 2,239 percent increase compared to January and put it at No. 87 among all Web sites.

But the raw uniques number pales in comparison to the 15.3 million uniques that NBC’s site received for the Summer Olympics in 2008, according to Compete’s data. The Kantar-owned market research firm didn’t break out Yahoo’s Olympic channel for last month’s Winter Games from the portal’s overall site. So, a side-by-side comparison of the two Olympics traffic rivals wasn’t available in order to potentially make more sense out of NBC’s showing.

Perhaps more intriguing to online advertisers was Compete’s “motorsports” category, which grew faster than any other content vertical during February and was undoubtedly affected by Nascar’s season opening. The category lifted by 69 percent when compared to January, while totaling around 6.3 million uniques. While news/media (47.7 million uniques) and financial services (34.6 million) towered over other general categories for February, a more relevant comparison for motorsports would be to put it against the “gaming/video games” vertical – which garnered 7.5 million uniques.

In a prepared statement, Compete called out the Nascar-driven online numbers as noteworthy since motorsports had the Olympics, sports-niche-wise, to contend with all month. “Publishers and advertisers marketing to this consumer demographic should take note of this data, particularly when planning future campaigns that coincide with highly publicized events,” the statement said.

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