‘Tis the season for sports online, from content to leader boards to fantasy leagues. Football in the U.S. geared up in late summer. Web traffic surged. Even better news: Paid ad impressions rose.
According to the most recent numbers from Nielsen//NetRatings:
- Unique audience (UA) traffic to sports sites was up 2 million, a 5.3 percent increase in August over July (the only major pro sport in season was baseball).
- Paid ad impressions rose in 10 of the top 13 ad sectors during this period.
- On sports sites, page views rose 29 percent in August (most likely due to the kick-off of the U.S. pro-football season).
- The NFL alone saw a 108 percent jump in impressions from July to August.
- More advertisers were active during this time, following five flat months.
|Private Usage of Top Sports Properties
(U.S. Combined At-Home and At-Work Users)
|July 2002 UA||August 2002 UA||Change (%)|
|2||NFL Internet Network||3,781||7,867||108|
|Official College Sports Network||
|All sports sites||36,408||38,348||5|
|Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, August 2002 Unique Audience|
One implication for those of us who represent companies that advertise online is when traffic is up, advertising is up. I took a look at Nielsen’s past five months’ worth of online traffic data on these sites. Traffic was up while paid impressions on sports sites increased an average of 23 percent per month. This was the uptick we were looking for after an up-and-down summer. In August, the total number of advertisers rose. A seasonal overlap of baseball, golf, and football seemed to have appeal.
According to the Lycos 50 Searches, “NFL” was the fifth most-searched term over the past five weeks.
Other sports-related Top 50 search terms include:
|Sports-Related Lycos Top 50
|Weeks on List|
We know there’s an increase in UAs to sports sites. And we know quality time is spent on such sites. We also know that, according to the Nielsen report, fans are “driven to distraction.”
Does all of this add up to a relevant encounter for potential advertisers? Consider not only the demographics of your target audience but their lifestyle as well. If it’s football they’re engrossed in, they may not want to click on an ad and leave their favorite sports site. The environment could accommodate a perceptive mindset if ads are nonintrusive, relevant to their encounter, and relevant to the content on the site. Dont miss an opportunity to score by slapping any old ad up.
In 2015, Verizon purchased AOL for $4.4 billion. Now, the mega wireless carrier is leveraging its wireless network as part of a new ad offering called BrandBuilder by AOL.
As the ball drops on December 31st, make sure your media strategies are stacked with timely resolutions to make the most of 2017.
Easily spotted on the mobile web: holiday ad next to plane crash story; Muslim dating ad next to KKK story; beauty ad next to domestic violence story; car ad next to emissions scandal story.
Digital has quite forcefully overturned the entire media industry, causing even the most traditional companies to adapt or be left behind.