Even with just 28 days, this February is a big month for sports. With the Superbowl coming up this weekend and the Winter Olympics running until February 20, fans are tuning in. Also coming up later this year is the FIFA World Cup, to be enjoyed by 4.2 billion football fans globally. All these blockbuster sporting events mean 2022 isy not only an exciting year for fans, but a year ripe with potential for brands looking to try their hand at sports marketing. Which got us thinking: how do audiences perceive ads during their favourite sports? And how might these perceptions change across generations?
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To find out more, our Insights team recently surveyed 2005 German consumers to gauge their attitudes to advertising during major sporting events. The survey was part of our Digital Brand Tracker, which monitors both consumer perceptions of some of Germany’s top digital brands and their attitudes on a range of topics affecting marketers. Here’s what the survey revealed about the current state of play.
Where is your audience?
Our survey showed that more than half of the respondents (57%) watch sports broadcasts on TV. Of those, 40 percent of viewers said they do not pay attention to advertising, with the figure going up to 43 percent for men.
And what are they watching?
Unsurprisingly for this football-mad nation, the sport remains the favourite for male audiences, with 75% of Germans watching football regularly. Next in line are skiing (21%), tennis (18%) and handball (17%).
How do they feel about your ads? And does age matter?
Plot twist: Millennials and Gen Z are more interested in advertising than baby boomers.
- A majority (57%) of the generation over 60, the so-called baby boomers, have a negative attitude toward commercials and would even prefer to see no commercials at all (60%).
- Gen Z is much more positive, with no general rejection of ads, but 30% would like to see a better selection of brands advertised during sports events.
What should your message be?
If your ads are running on TV during games, striking the right tone with your message is crucial. As we’ve advised previously, remember to stay joyful and humorous with your message to match the tone of the events themselves. Also, capitalise on the unity and commonality that fans feel during major sporting events. Our survey also revealed that sports broadcasts – especially major events such as the Superbowl, soccer championships or the Olympics – are highly emotional experiences for 41% of the men surveyed, a sentiment which your campaign could tap into.
And don’t be afraid to get creative, too. According to our survey, of those aged between 18-35, almost a third (28%) enjoy watching commercials. And just over half (54%) of viewers in the younger generations are not generally dismissive of ads, but feel neutral about commercials. So if there’s something catchy in the mix, it will likely work with audiences young and old alike.
Tips for a gold-medal worthy sports campaign:
So, what do these results mean for brands looking to try their hand at sports marketing, or those who already invest in this area? Matthias Riedl, CEO and Cofounder of DCMN, advises: “Our survey shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement in sports marketing for marketers, creatives and companies. The fact that the younger generation is significantly more open to advertising is also due to the personalised, more relevant ads that reach this target group on different channels.”
“If you really want to exploit the huge potential of sports marketing, you should think in terms of personalisation, relevance, omnichannel and entertainment,” Matthias says. “There are viewers worldwide who only watch the Superbowl because of its exclusive and creative commercials. This could also be the benchmark for German marketers.”
Before we go, there’s also a sports marketing calendar in our arena (aka this blog). Mark the dates in your calendars and for any questions related to sports marketing, reach us at: email@example.com