The NFL is coming back -- and TV marketers are breathing easier. But might they be gasping again?
Back in April, NFL TV advertisers -- who target male viewers -- believed their fall marketing plans might be in big trouble, due to a possible league shutdown. The concern was big, said those executives, because there were few alternatives to run their media and make business hay.
Now the league is seemingly good to go this season. But the frantic thinking that beset the business for months might reveal a seemingly underlying problem in the growing entertainment and marketing world. Is there just one potent media platform for male-targeted media plans?
For many marketers, the NFL's performance dynamics are unmatched; limited inventory, high viewership and big consumer engagement stir the pot.
One would think, in 2011, there would be other options. And some competing programmers -- cable TV and others -- might chime in here that there are. Existing NFL marketers might counter that none of those options have as big an impact as pro football.
In contrast, look at the options for getting women viewers, which are seemingly plentiful everywhere -- network, cable, syndication. There's little doubt that TV -- especially with regularly scheduled, Monday through Friday primetime fare -- offers a lot of places to get women viewers.
Men? We know they watch a lot of football, as well as the other big three (or two) sports leagues). You might include mixed martial arts and X-Games. Offline? Men can be happy interacting with video games.
But the NFL is a big and effective place to get all that a marketer needs -- with little hassle. That why it's no surprise that 80% of NFL advertising deals have already been completed for this upcoming season -- all of which happened even with a better than a fair chance the entire season would be canceled.
Seemingly, TV marketers had planned -- or not planned -- for no other options this year.
All this means that there was always some confidence by NFL owners and TV networks that too much business was at stake for a deal not be happen between the players and the owners.
Still one wonders why, in this growing digital age, some TV marketers can be tackled so quickly.