Quantifying TV's Bullshot Quotient

The Professional Bull Riders Association (PBR) is the latest to sign up for Nielsen Media Research's Sponsorship Scorecard.

The service, which was launched July 2004, tracks in-program sponsorship placements for clients including the PGA, ESPN, and Arizona Diamondbacks, and more than a dozen other players--including ad agencies--that Nielsen says it will name later..

In addition to in-ring signage, Nielsen's Web-based service will be tracking plugs on riders' chest protectors, chaps, gloves, shirts, chutes, gates, slats, fencing, barrels, clown clothing, scoreboards, and just about anything else you can slap a logo on, not to mention announcer mentions of sponsors.

The PBR has TV deals with NBC, Telemundo and the Outdoor Life Network.

In its first high-profile outing, Sponsorship Scorecard found that Taco Bell was the big ad winner in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July 2004.

In addition to sponsoring an in-game pitching accuracy contest that employed a Taco Bell branded target,  the fast food chain was the first-inning sponsor, with an electronic sign behind home plate. It benefited big time from six-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens' troubles.

The Houston Astros pitcher was tagged for a record 6 runs in a l-o-n-g first inning, helping Taco Bell achieve a 9 minute, 30 second duration for 83 unique exposures of its sponsored visuals, or a total of 1,200,084 viewers 18-plus.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.