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Let the Client Decide How Much They Want to Spend

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One of the biggest mistakes we can make in media sales is to decide what it is our client or prospect can or cannot spend on advertising.  That is their job and only their job to decide as the person who will eventually stroke the check.  We’re to listen and offer solutions based on our knowledge of marketing and our specific products.  If we’re not given a budget to work with all we can do is present at levels we believe will deliver the best results based on their needs.

Managers often have to deal with reps who refuse to ask for more money.  In their mind, for whatever reason, they don’t think the client can or will pay “that much” for advertising.  If we’ve done a good CNA and good research, we should have some idea, but ultimately that number isn’t for us to decide.

I want to share with you the story of the last time I almost let an AE talk me out of asking a client for more money.  It happened several years ago in St. Louis when I was asked to attend a meeting with a local union, but that I should know going in the client had said, “our budget is mostly tapped for the year” (the meeting was in early September) and this was to talk about opportunities for next year.

Image result for empty pockets

As the meeting went on, most of the ideas we ended up talking about revolved around the Rams football season (remember the St. Louis Rams?) and the Cardinals baseball season, but the client repeated over and over again that the Rams would have to be for next year as “our budget is mostly tapped for the year.”  It was a really good CNA meeting and there were a lot of good ideas shared.  As we wrapped up our AE scheduled a follow up meeting for the next week to go over a proposal for next year “since you said your budget was mostly tapped out for the year.”

As soon as they left, my first thought was to put something together that included the football season that had just begun.  The AE thought I was crazy and that I hadn’t listened to a single word said in the meeting. “Didn’t you hear what they kept saying? They are tapped for this year.  I don’t want to look like an idiot and present something when they just told us over and over they couldn’t do anything for this year.”

I said what I had heard was that they were “MOSTLY tapped out” and we failed to dig deeper on what mostly meant.  The AE reluctantly worked with me on a package where one option included starting this season and another which was just the following year.  The morning we were to polish it up and present it, the AE came in and pleaded with me not to bring up anything for the current year.  He said things like “they said they don’t have the money” and “they can’t afford to do something this year,” as well as “I think there is a big opportunity here and I don’t want to blow it by looking like we didn’t listen to what they said.”

While I still didn’t agree with it, he was passionate and adamant about it, so I decided he could handle the client the way he thought was best.  I told him it was his decision and he should present to them whichever one he feels most comfortable with.

The follow up meeting came and before we had the opportunity to present, the head of the union said once more how he really liked the ideas we had come up with and that they especially were excited about the program around the Rams, “just wish we could do it sooner, but my budget is mostly tapped out, I bet I don’t have fifty grand left for the year.”

Image result for record scratch

(Insert record scratch)

Whoa. Hold up. I’m sorry, sir, did you say fifty grand?  As in ten grand a month for the rest of the year?  Allow us to go back and sharpen our pencils here, but what if we could make something work this year for that dollar amount?

To make a long story slightly shorter, we sold a deal right there at the table without the presentation ever coming out as the AE had only brought the proposal for the following year.  To this particular group, $50,000 left for the year in marketing was not a lot of money, it was the equivalent to being “mostly tapped out.” For our rep, it became one of his highest billing monthly accounts, and one of the best lessons he (we) could’ve learned: Always ask for more.  The amount of money the client has to spend on advertising is their decision to make.  Not ours.

 

BSM Writers

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.”

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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.

Global Is Cool': The Growing Appeal of Premier League Soccer in America
Courtesy: Morning Consult

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.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise – Episode 45

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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.

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BSM Writers

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.”

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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?

A Pot of Gold Articles - Analyzing Metals
Courtesy: iStockphoto

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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