Why sports Audio is the MVP

By Debbie Kenyon, SVP, Detroit Market Manager, Audacy

Like a Hall of Fame quarterback, sports Audio is a proven winner that delivers in big moments and every day. From raising brand awareness to swaying consumers to purchase and building loyalty, sports Audio elevates brands at every stage of the marketing funnel and outperforms the competition.

Sports occupy a special place in fans’ hearts and minds. Audacy’s Engaged Impressions study, based on neurological measurement, reported that when it comes to sports, AM/FM radio, streaming, and podcasts are more attention-grabbing and impactful than linear TV, digital media, and social media.

That translates to audiences who deliver. At every stage of the marketing funnel, sports Audio engages audiences more effectively than linear TV, SVOD, video ads, Internet display, and social media, including awareness (50%); consideration (41%); conversion (46%), and, finally, loyalty (35%)1

Here’s where the scouting report gets even better: Not only is sports Audio more immersive than other popular media channels–the audiences it brings to advertisers are high-income decision-makers, business leaders, and consumers with significant spending power. 

Total Audio changes the game plan 

Since the early days of AM radio, local stations have connected passionate fans with their favorite teams. Audio is the soundtrack of sports, and local broadcasters are beloved personalities and revered experts. For instance, on 97.1 The Ticket, Detroit Tigers announcer Dan Dickerson and Detroit Lions broadcaster Dan Miller are household names in Detroit. Some people revere local sports radio play-by-play so much that they mute their TV and listen to the radio calls instead.  

Now, “total audio,” which combines AM/FM radio, digital streaming, and podcasts, is bringing fandom to new heights. Today, 91% of Americans 18+ listen to at least one form of Audio2, and a growing number listen to multiple channels.

We can offer fans more of what they love thanks to digital streaming and podcasting. From women’s soccer to tennis to rugby, with digital, we can create content for any passionate fan. In Detroit we produce a national sports betting podcast that focuses on the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and even one off sports events like Masters, Kentucky Derby, and Daytona 500. 

Digital Audio allows fans to choose how and when they listen, and sports Audio is portable and hand’s free. A Detroit Lions fan can stream the game while she’s running, and a Red Wings devotee can catch post-game analysis while he drives the soccer carpool. It’s never been easier to tune in and stay engaged.

Sports audio fans are engaged super fans

Sports Audio doesn’t attract just any listener; These are die-hard super fans who make up a highly desirable audience. Affluent decision makers with a household income of $150,000 or more are rabid Audio and sports fans, with 96% reporting they listen to at least one form of Audio and 61% listen to two. Among these desirable consumers, 60% are more likely to listen to podcasts, and 30% more likely to use streaming Audio2

About three-quarters of business decision-makers consider themselves sports fans, and they’re 56% more likely to listen to sports on the radio in the past year. Our listeners are hungry for analysis, insights, and behind-the-scenes dish. Every week, 3.4 million affluent business leaders tune into Audacy sports radio stations and streaming Audio2

How Audio elevates sports advertising

With so many options, we can create bespoke campaigns to suit nearly any objective and budget. Our plans go beyond spots and dots (or Xs and Os), and we help brands stand out. 

The best news for brands? Nearly any size business can participate in sports. For instance, a small business in Detroit can buy a package with 10-second spots in Lions radio broadcasts and get broad exposure on our website and app.

And businesses can go beyond traditional 30-second ads (although those are highly effective and popular, too) and own the game, team, league, or sport with these 5 Winning Audio Options for Advertisers

#1 Exclusive Features

Advertisers can sponsor exclusive features and segments, such as sponsoring game recaps, weather reports, interviews, or scoreboard round-ups, aligning their name with key moments. 

With our assets, we can create opportunities that don’t exist in other media. A bank or finance company would be a good fit to sponsor the coin toss, while a hospital or personal injury attorney presents the injury report. By taking ownership of features, brands cut through the clutter. 

It gets better. Our popular local announcers are beloved for their opinions and insights, and listeners trust their recommendations. When these hosts endorse a local HVAC company or mention eating at their favorite Italian restaurant, the attentive audience takes note.  

#2 Amplify

We can amplify a campaign with reach across geographic areas too. Our brand partners in Michigan can message the local Detroit market or across the state with our network of affiliates. 

#3 Exclusive Perks

As exclusive media partners for teams, we can offer perks that extend an advertiser’s reach and add value. Audacy advertising packages often include access to tickets, suites, and on-field experiences. Clients can share that exclusive access with customers, friends, and family or offer them as a prize in a contest. Other media can’t compete with that access.

#4 Double Down with Digital

We can augment on-air campaigns with targeted digital components that reach the most interested and engaged listeners. Options include banner ads, Amazon DSP targeting, geofencing around stadiums, and display targeting on Audacy stations’ websites. A marketer could produce 90-second ads for digital streaming or be the exclusive sponsor for a local Lions podcast.

#5 Hit the Target

With our first-party research and analytics, we can help brands find their target audiences on non-sports audio, including music formats and other podcast genres. Want to reach female football fans? They may also be listening to pop music formats and true crime podcasts. The options are limitless.

Whether your local team is a championship contender or rebuilding, sports Audio is the most impactful media channel.  Fans want news, information, action, and opinion. They lean in and stay connected. 

As advertisers seek emotional connections and ways to break through the clutter, there’s no better star than sports Audio.

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

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1 Nielsen Commspoint Influence, Planning Insights, Channel Ranking, MRI Simmons, 2022, A18+, Campaigns linked to sports events

2  Nielsen Scarborough Research, Market/Release: Scarborough USA+ 2022 Release 1 Total (Dec 2020 – Apr 2022), Base: Total
Adults 18+ Projected: 259,044,221 Respondents: 199,118)

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