ESPN: Sponsors Scored With World Cup Cross-Platform Ads

New research from ESPN conducted during the 2010 World Cup shows that multiplatform advertisers get better results than those that simply buy commercials on television.

Television companies like ESPN that sell multiplatform sponsorship packages have been pushing to find research that documents the way they perform for advertisers. ESPN calls its new cross-platform research effort ESPN XP.

"Our mission for ESPN XP is to move cross-platform measurement from custom project to standard practice. The quality and depth of data from this World Cup project has exceeded my expectations and is a major step towards this goal," said Artie Bulgrin, senior vice president of ESPN Research+Analytics.

While standard ad campaigns are judged mainly by reach and frequency, ESPN wants to be able to figure out the impact of each platform used in an integrated campaign. The effort used 15 research vendors to look at TV, radio, Internet, mobile and print.

NBC Universal did a similar study behind its coverage of the Olympics. ESPN plans to do further cross-platform research during football season.

ESPN said its research found that 160 million Americans tuned into the Word Cup on one platform or another, with
most advertisers running ad campaigns that spanned multiple platforms.

In one campaign, people exposed to an advertiser on all five platforms had over three times the sponsor association as people who saw ads only on TV. The data show the campaigns being increasingly effective with exposure on more platforms.

The study also found that mobile is a very effective advertising platform, with ads only on mobile performing as well as ads on TV alone. Combining TV and mobile led to the highest branded word of mouth.

ESPN said that non-TV platforms added 1 million people to its World Cup average and that 61% of those additional consumers were using the Internet. During the World Cup, 22% of consumer said the tried an ESPN platform for the first time. 

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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.