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You’ve Got 6 Weeks. What’s Your Game Plan?

“You have a deadline of 11/6 and first in the boat will get the opportunity.”

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We cannot spend enough time discussing ways to improve our prospecting for new sports radio business. We all realize how much tougher it is right now. My hope is to inspire you to go out with a new enthusiasm for more business from your current clients and new business from clients you do not know yet. The CEO of Sapper Consulting Jeff Winters recently wrote a piece in the Harvard Business Review about B2B selling during a pandemic. He makes some great points about prospecting. 

But first, let us set a plan on how we can gain new business the last 6 weeks of 2020. 

2020 is almost over! We're in the home stretch!!" The home stretch: -  iFunny :)

We have 3 weeks of sales activity to generate new business for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and end of year New Year’s sales. If you put a plan together by 10/19, you would have 15 business days to prospect, present, close and execute on new business by 11/6. You will need some lead time to get those avails reserved between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Tell prospects what you are doing.

You are looking for clients who want to impact their bottom line the last 6 weeks of the year. You will need to present to as many clients as possible to get this done. That means more time prospecting. As Winters points out, nobody has sold in a pandemic before, sales are remote, not in person, so give yourself some slack and room for trial and error. Be honest and tell prospects you are trying to end the year with a bang, and you want to know if they want to feel the same way.  The NFL and your local college football team are in playoff/conference title chases and the bowl season will be in play. Your audience is looking for your sports conversation about the most important time of the year. 

Playoffs, bowls, Christmas, and New Year’s! Oh my! 

Give yourself a goal of activity for those first 2 weeks. Say 2 prospecting activities and 2 new presenting opportunities a day for 2 weeks. The moment a prospect wants to see the proposal, do it asap. If they say yes to the proposal, book it and execute asap. Then, move on to the next one. Just leave 4 thirty-minute blocks a day open. Fill them with prospecting or presenting for the 6-week sale. You have a deadline of 11/6 and first in the boat will get the opportunity.  

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The most important part of the new business process is identifying qualified prospects. Winters has good advice. Think about which clients can buy NOW vs later. 50% of our advertisers are cutting back or eliminating advertising spending especially in travel, event promotion, bars, and restaurants. But if your prospect list is heavy on home services clients, technology, or e-commerce they are looking to advertise and expand. 

And, if you are a S.T.P. seller, you better read this.

Plenty of AE’s rely on the power of their persuasion in person when it comes time to prospecting, presenting, servicing, schmoozing, and closing. It is how they maintain a relationship. 

See The People sellers will need to up their remote prospecting game. They will need to continue to monitor clients/prospects social media posts, thank them with handwritten notes and offer unique gifts.  And also increase email marketing, texting and social media posts in reply or original thought. 

Winters also reminds us to consider our prospect’s customer’s financial health. If we understand how our prospects’ customers have been affected by the pandemic, we will know if they are a great prospect for the last 6 weeks of the year. In other words, if you are selling a promotion to the local minor league hockey team, who wasn’t letting in many fans for games, you may not get a sale by 12/31/20. You could wait on pitching that deal. But, if you were talking to a home office furnishings company, they may be ready to close out their 2020 inventory for Xmas gifts and 2021 home office set ups for white collar stay-at-home workers. Sports Radio reaches plenty of that demo and you need to load up on those prospects.   

Winters also suggests we have end of year spot price discounts, flexible payment options or buy an on-air schedule and get a digital promo for free type offer. If our offer corresponds to the needs of the buyer, they will do it! 

Winters reports it is what 69% of buyers want now. 

We also need to show ROI. When we do our CNA make sure we know how much profit can be generated by selling x amount of home office systems for example. Also, if you are taking ad budget from a higher priced radio competitor, tv station or digital platform, tell them how much money they will be saving to move the same or more amount of goods in 6 weeks. The person who makes that decision may need to tell others involved the cold hard ROI facts. 

Return on Investment (ROI) Definition & Formula | InvestingAnswers

We have time. Let’s sell the hell out of the last 6 weeks of the year! 

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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