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Viamedia Nets Local Ad Sales Gains with World Cup

The global game scored big Nielsens nationally in the U.S. and the popularity of the 2014 World Cup manifested for advertisers at the local cable level, according to Viamedia.

The cable ad sales rep reported that over 285 local cable advertisers bought spots in nearly 150 different sales zones during the 64-match tournament and related programming that aired on ESPN and ESPN2 from June 12 through July 13.

An analysis of Viamedia custom database indicated that it ran 22,500 spots from local advertisers in 24 different product categories on over 90 hours of fare from Brazil across its 71-DMA footprint.

The top category spenders were automotive; direct response; sporting / outdoor recreational goods; attorneys / professional services; and entertainment/ travel clients.

According to Viamedia, the top four national auto advertisers were Mazda, Honda, GMC and Lexus.

Not surprisingly, the most ads placed by Viamedia involved Sam’s Army: the U.S. versus Germany on June 26; the U.S. against Belgium on July 1; the Americans' draw with Portugal on June 22; and their win over Ghana on June 16. Based on preliminary Rentrak data, Viamedia estimates that the four U.S. matches netted a weighted 7.0 U.S. household rating average.

In examining local market ratings for these contests, Viamedia found a relationship between those performances and local cable market World Cup revenues. To that end, the top three revenue markets all exhibited above average Rentrak ratings for the quartet of U.S. soccer matches, with Chicago (104), Philadelphia (114) and New York (187) all exceeding the national index.

All told, Viamedia's highest revenue markets for the tourney were: Chicago; Tampa; Philadelphia; New York; Detroit; Wilkes-Barre, Penn.; Cincinnati; Evansville, Ill.; Columbus; and Seattle.

“The findings support the fact that high-profile events, such as the World Cup, is a tremendous opportunity to local advertisers,” said Mark Lieberman, president and CEO, Viamedia. “Not only can local businesses reach a huge audience, they can co-brand themselves even on the world’s largest stage. We were thrilled to see our customers finding extraordinary value in an event that happens once every four years. Leveraging a national arena like the World Cup for local advertising is one of cable’s greatest assets.”

A local auto dealership was among those pleased with the local ad delivery during FIFA’s famed tourney from Brazil.

“Advertising on World Cup offered us the perfect platform to speak directly to our target audience,” said Dean Rothrock, vice president of Rothrock Motor Sales. “By leveraging the tremendous draw of the World Cup’s audience, we were able to achieve a much more impactful ROI for our dealership. Our ads got maximum exposure in our key target demographic in the Philadelphia market.”

For its part, one of Major League Soccer’s franchises looked to grow its fan base with a schedule that run during ESPN's coverage of the tournament.

“Local cable advertising during the World Cup was a piece of our overarching strategic marketing plan and an efficient and effective way for us to reach both avid and emerging soccer fans in the local Chicago area,” said Mike Ernst, senior vice president of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. “The ability to target our local area was invaluable in promoting our team to a growing group of soccer fans.”