You did all the work. You saw the billboard on the highway and emailed yourself to call the prospect. You found a way through the gatekeeper and got the business owner on the phone to set up an appointment. You confirmed the appointment, holding your breath until that reply email came through. You did a damn good client needs analysis – you asked all the right questions and listened intently to the answers. With the help of your sales assistant, you put together a world class presentation. You nailed the pitch, you assumed the close and made the sale!
And then, you screwed the whole thing up.
Unfortunately, it happens way too often in our business. The sale is made, and in the end, another good radio client walks away thinking that awful thought: “Radio doesn’t work.”
Whenever I hear those words, I cringe. Of course radio works. Over 15 billion (with a b) dollars is spent annually on radio ads. Companies such as Home Depot, McDonald’s, Mattress Firm, Auto Zone and Walgreens aren’t just spending enormous amounts of money with radio, each month, as charitable donations. They do it because it works.
In the first six months of 2017, Home Depot ran, on average, 233,372 commercials – PER MONTH. Again, they don’t do it because they really feel America just simply needs to hear Josh Lucas talk about carpet installation. They do it because it works.
But, when it doesn’t work, it’s usually our fault, and it’s typically because the person who made the sale at the beginning of this column was never taught that the real work begins when the client says yes.
That is when we truly need to be unique and good at what we do. Step six in the sports media salesperson playbook – servicing the account.
Generally, the first step in the process is putting together the spot the advertiser is going to air on our sports station. This step can make all the difference in the world, and too often, it is mailed in. Too many times we hear why the restaurant has the best food at the lowest prices with the best service. No creativity and nothing that makes the listener feel like they need to take action.
I encourage you, over the next few weeks, to really listen to the radio spots you hear. Make notes on why you liked or didn’t like a commercial. More times than not, a good spot brings out a strong emotion or has a memorable tag or jingle. But, I hear too many that sound like the AE needed to get copy into traffic in a hurry, so they went with the old standby of four or five quick things they pulled off the company website, repeated the phone number or web address a few times and called it a day.
The next step, especially in sports radio, is usually to execute the promotion or sponsorship you sold in the package. So, the AE emails the host, producer the information and assumes it will all get taken care of. A much better way to do this would be to visit, face to face, with the host, or hosts, and the producer and walk them through the promotion, who the client is and what is important to them. When it hits the air, grab an air-check and send it over to the client to let them hear how it sounded on the air. Never assume your client is listening and heard the feature.
Another mistake I see all too often is the AE who only talks to their client when it comes time for renewal. I teach my teams to always find ways to drop into your client’s business or, at the very least, call them to see how things are going. Don’t be the person who they only see or hear from when it’s time to get back in their pocket. Remember, you are hoping they see you as their new in-house marketing director, not their radio salesperson who they see twice a year.
If the copy was compelling, the execution of the promotion or sponsorship was on point, and you truly went out of your way to establish a relationship with the customer, you are several times more likely to get the all-important renewal.
When we don’t do our jobs correctly, we don’t give campaigns the chance to work and we have, potentially, lost a radio client forever. It is our responsibility to hold ourselves accountable so all we hear a lot more about how well RADIO WORKS!
Keeping Premier League Games Shouldn’t Be A Hard Call For NBC
“Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans.”
NBC Sports is facing some tough, costly decisions that will define its sports brand for the rest of this decade. A chance to connect with viewers in a changing climate and grow Peacock’s audience as well. However, making the right choice is paramount to not losing to apps like Paramount+ (pun intended).
NBC is currently in the business of negotiating to continue airing the Premier League as their current deal ends after this 2021-2022 season. NASCAR is contracted to NBC (and FOX) through the 2024 season.
NBC’s tentpole sports are the NFL and the Olympics.
Negotiations for the EPL are expected to go down to the wire. Rather than re-up with NBC, the league is meeting with other networks to drive up the price. NBC has to then make a decision if the rights go north of $2 billion.
Should NBC spend that much on a sport that is not played in the United States? It’s not my money, but that sport continues to grow in the US.
If NBC re-ups with the Premier League, will that leave any coins in the cupboard to re-up with NASCAR? Comcast CEO Brian Roberts hinted that there might be some penny pinching as the prices continue to soar. This may have been one of the reasons that NBC did not fight to keep the National Hockey League, whose rights will be with Disney and WarnerMedia through ESPN and TNT, respectively.
“These are really hard calls,” Roberts said. “You don’t always want to prevail, and sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong, but I think the sustainability of sports is a critical part of what our company does well.”
Roberts was speaking virtually at the recent Goldman Sachs 30th Annual Communacopia Conference. He told the audience that between NBC and European network Sky, that Comcast has allocated approximately $20 billion towards these sports properties.
Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh spoke virtually at the Bank of America Securities 2021 Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference and echoed that the company is in a good position to make some strong choices in the sports realm.
“The bar is really high for us to pursue outright acquisitions of any material size,” Cavanagh added. “We got a great hand to play with what we have.”
While the European investments involve a partnership with American rival Viacom, the US market seems to have apparent limits.
Last Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway was seen by around 2.19 million people. It was the most-watched motorsports event of the weekend. That same week eight different Premier League matches saw over 1 million viewers. More than half of those matches were on subscription-based Peacock.
Beyond its massive global fanbase, the Premier League offers NBC/Peacock a unique modern 21st-century sport for the short attention span of fans. A game of typical soccer fan is used to a sport that is less than two hours long. The investment in a team is one or two games a week.
My connection to the Premier League began before the pandemic. When I cut the cord in late 2017, I purchase Apple TV. Setting it up, it asks you to name your favorite teams. After clicking on the Syracuse Orange and the New Jersey Devils, I recalled that my wife has family based in London, England. They are season ticket holders for Arsenal, and that family redefined the word “die-hard” fans.
I’ve long been a believer that sports allegiances are best when handed down by family. I love hearing stories of people loving the New York Giants because their parents liked them, and they pass it down to their children.
I’ve successfully given my allegiance to the Devils to my young daughters.
By telling Apple TV that I liked Arsenal, I get alerts from three different apps when the “Gunners” are playing. The $4.99 is totally worth it to see Arsenal.
Whenever I told this story, I was amazed to see how many other American sports fans had a Premier League team. Students of mine at Seton Hall University rooted for Tottenham Hotspurs, while an old colleague cheers on Chelsea.
This is not meant to say that NBC should sign the EPL on my account. The key for any US-based soccer fan is that between Bundesliga, Serie A, and other leagues, there will be no shortage of soccer available on both linear television and streaming services.
Besides, Dani Rojas did say that “Football is life.” NBC, originator of the Ted Lasso character, should make keeping its Premier League US connection a priority.
Media Noise – Episode 45
Today, Demetri is joined by Tyler McComas and Russ Heltman. Tyler pops on to talk about the big start to the college football season on TV. Russ talks about Barstool’s upfront presentation and how the business community may not see any problems in working with the brand. Plus, Demetri is optimistic about FOX Sports Radio’s new morning show.
6 Ad Categories Hotter Than Gambling For Sports Radio
“Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life.”
For years sports radio stations pushed sports gambling advertisers to early Saturday and Sunday morning. The 1-800 ads, shouting, and false claims were seedy, and some stations wouldn’t even accept the business at 5 am on Sunday.
Now, with all but ten states ready to go all in on sports gambling, sports radio stations can’t get enough of that green. Demetri Ravanos wrote about the money cannon that sports gambling has become for stations. Well, what if you are in one of those ten states where it isn’t likely to ever be legal like California or Texas? Where is your pot of gold?
Or, let’s face it, the more gambling ads you run, the more risk you take on that the ads will not all work as you cannibalize the audience and chase other listeners away who ARE NOT online gambling service users and never will be. So, what about you? Where is your pot of gold?
Well, let’s go Digging for Gold.
The RAB produces the MRI-Simmons Gold Digger PROSPECTING REPORT for several radio formats. In it, they index sports radio listeners’ habits against an average of 18+ Adult. The Gold Digger report looks at areas where the index is higher than the norm – meaning the sports radio audience is more likely to use the product or service than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. The report, generated in 2020, indicates that sports radio listeners are 106% more likely to have used an online gambling site in the last thirty days. That’s impressive because the report only lists 32 activities or purchases a sports radio listener indexes higher than an average adult. I looked at those 32 higher indexes, and I think we can start looking for some gold.
Using sports radio as a back page service for gambling will have a limited shelf life. The gambling companies who commit significant money to get results will continue advertising and chase the others away. So, the future of sports radio needs to include other cash cows.
If it is evident to online sports gambling services that sports radio stations are a must-buy, who else should feel that way? I looked at the Top 32 and eliminated the media companies. ESPN, MLB/NHL/NFL networks, and others aren’t spending cash on sports radio stations they don’t own in general. But Joseph A Bank clothing, Fidelity, and Hotwire should! Here’s your PICK-6 list I pulled together that’s hotter than sports gambling:
- Sportscard collectors, Dapper Labs, Open Sea- read about Sports NFT $.
- Online brokerage firms-Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood, Webull, TD Ameritrade
- Golf courses, resorts, equipment, etc.- we play golf at home and vacation
- Hotwire.com, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Carnival Corporation, and Priceline.com- we’ve used Hotwire in the last year.
- FedEx, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle-we wired or overnighted $
- Jos. A. Bank, shein.com, macys.com, nordstroms.com- we went to Jos. A. Bank in last three months
The sports card/NFT market is 32% hotter than the sports betting market for sports radio listeners. Everything on the PICK-6 is at least 100% more likely to purchase than an average 18+ Adult who doesn’t listen to sports radio. All listed are at or above indexing strength compared to sports betting. The individual companies I added are industry leaders. Bet on it! Email me for details.
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