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It should come as no surprise that live sports on broadcast, cable, and CTV consistently draw in a strong viewership. Have you ever tried to record a game and watch it the next day? Good luck avoiding spoilers from friends, co-workers, and social media! Live TV remains an impactful medium to reach audiences with improved targeting and attribution capabilities. Whether marketers need to drive brand awareness or sales lift, live programming provides an effective path to achieve your business outcomes.

And while the TV landscape continues to fragment and audiences shift toward OTT/CTV platforms, you wouldn’t know it based on the sky-high ratings of live sports. In fact, according to Sports Illustrated, 23 of the top 25 most-watched broadcasts in 2021 were NFL games. Further, the Tokyo Olympics snagged 16 spots within the top 100, while events like the NCAA’s March Madness Final Four, the NBA Finals, and the Masters all claimed their spot on the list.     

To help you get started, we’re sharing our top three strategies that marketers can use to reach their target audience through sports programming.  

3 Strategies to Reach the Sports Audience 

1. Play into the passion of live sports viewers

There’s nothing like the energy of watching a live sports game! Some die-hard fans will even watch regular-season games with the same fervor as a playoff or championship. So how can advertisers capitalize on key moments throughout the sports season? It’s important to keep the momentum going. Some brands opt to make a single, big splash; however, it can be more impactful to activate your media plan over several weeks or months. This consistent pacing will allow you to target your audience with non-skippable advertising and reap the benefits of frequency-capped, repeated exposure – a win-win for brands.   

2. Maximize impact with a cross-channel approach 

If you are already activating on linear, consider extending and amplifying your reach with CTV media. The lion’s share of live sports is still found on cable and broadcast, but increasingly, leagues and networks are airing games through OTT and CTV platforms. Simultaneously, more and more households are cutting the cord with their cable providers, but still want to tune in to watch their beloved sports teams. For marketers looking to improve the efficiency of their media buying for sports programming, a cross-channel approach can be a game-changer! Live sports on CTV give advertisers the real-time advantages of linear with targeting and attribution similar to digital.  

3. Reach an upscale audience – at scale 

Most sports benefit from a broad-reaching audience – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey each draw fans from the full spectrum of individuals that make up the 18-49 demographic. However, a few sports boast a more niche appeal. Golf and tennis in particular provide marketers with the opportunity to engage with a fanbase that falls in a higher income demographic, making these sports an ideal space for luxury retail, luxury auto, and financial services advertisers. In fact, according to Scarborough Research, 30% of adult tennis fans and 27% of adult golf fans have household incomes of $100,000 or more. High-net-worth individuals are notoriously difficult to advertise to, so advertising during golf and tennis matches allows brands to get in front of this hard-to-reach segment.   

Sporting events on TV offer marketers endless advertising opportunities. A multipurpose solution, activating your message on TV enables marketers to meet both their upper and lower-funnel KPIs.  

Ready to take your sports TV advertising to the next level? Get in touch with a Cadent account executive.