Blinkfire Analytics Blog

Evaluate sports sponsorships for Digital automatically and in real time


Buying stadium signs in the post-television era

The Cubs didn’t quite make the World Series this year, so yet again we Chicagoans will have to say “wait ’til next year”.  However, one company that won’t have to wait until next year is Toyota, who this August sponsored the marquee on the front of Wrigley Field, perhaps foreseeing the run up to the NLCS.  We have no idea if that was luck or a good bit of fortune telling, but one thing we do know:   a LOT of people take selfies in front of said marquee, and that adds up to a lot of earned media exposure for Toyota.

Social Media allows for Digital Exposure Outside the Stadium

This sign is on the outside of the stadium, so you can analyze all the TV footage you want and you aren’t going to see this sign much.   Even if it was, we’ve started to notice some patterns that make sense for sponsors to study if one is considering buying stadium signs in the post-TV, social media era, and some considerations for pricing if you are selling sign real estate to sponsors.

Using our new Content Search and performing a search like “cubs toyota” allows you to tally up the many different publications that include the sign, including teams such as the Cubs themselves or other teams like the Pirates and Reds, players such as Dexter Fowler,  MLB, or media companies such as the Chicago Tribune and SI.

Search results for “cubs toyota”

From this we are able to garner a number of interesting insights, the first being that this is ALL earned media – the sign sponsorship is the campaign, and there are no specific activations on the part of anyone for Toyota.

Second, Instagram continues to be the channel that generates the most earned media value (over 54% of the total value) when it comes to selfies and other fan posts, as well as posts from the official channels.  If you aren’t tracking Instagram as part of your social media valuation process we don’t believe you can even get into the ballpark (so to speak) of an accurate valuation.  In October Facebook generated approximately 29% of the total engagement, and Twitter generated a bit over 16%.  Not surprisingly to most, Google+ continues to provide negligible value from an audience perspective.

Incidentally, the Cubs also sold a Budweiser sign on the back of Wrigley Field, essentially sponsoring the Bleachers, which displays similar properties:

Yes, there’s still value inside the stadium

Now, yes the Wrigley Field marquee and bleacher signs are outside the stadium, but what about inside the stadium?   Where should one buy?  Where should one sell?

The answer:   the backdrop where people take selfies.  Ok, well all of these examples below are bona fide John Oliver examples of #notaselfie, but let’s say “where people pose for pictures” – because it turns out that’s also where teams in their official channels take lots of pictures.

There’s a lot more where that came from.

All of these fan posts in aggregate add up (and you can use our tools to do this automatically for you!) but it’s the posts from the leagues’ and teams’ official channels that really add up.

This post by the MLB carried over $25k in earned media value for Budweiser

And the Mets themselves generated over $75k in earned media value for Budweiser as well in October alone:


So, the moral of the story here is twofold:

1) Sign buying can generate material earned media value for your brand, especially if you happen to pick stadia of teams which get to the playoffs! and

2) Buy signs where people are going to take lots of pictures – iconic marquees or places in the stadium where people are going to direct their cameras.

Of course, you yourself can study trends like this using Blinkfire Analytics.  Contact us to find out how.

Written by Alexis Prousis - November 17, 2015 - 760 Views

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