Disney Tackles 65 Major College Football Deals

Amid industry-wide writers' and actors' strikes and sinking entertainment viewing, Disney Advertising says advertising sales for the new college football season have delivered another year of “robust” demand -- with more than 65 major deals.

Among those deals are 17 new sponsors buying into its college football season of games -- including Avocados from Mexico, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Signet (Zales). 

Without fresh premium scripted content on TV prime-time schedules -- due to writers' and actors' strikes, as well as sinking overall linear TV viewership of scripted and unscripted TV entertainment shows -- live sports on linear TV has taken on a higher profile for TV marketers, according to media-buying executives.

Of those 65 college football advertising and sponsorship deals, 48 are returning sponsors, including Mercedes-Benz, Modelo, Vrbo and others. 



Thirteen higher-spending sponsors for the more highly viewed end-of-the-season college football playoffs include AT&T, Allstate, Capital One, Chick-fil-A, Cheez-It, Dr Pepper, Gatorade, Goodyear, Mercedes-Benz, Modelo, Ram Trucks, Taco Bell and Vrbo.

These deals will include major advertising schedules during the playoff games as well as a presence throughout the College Football National Championship game.

During this year’s weak upfront advertising market for scripted and unscripted entertainment, pricing for average cost-per-thousand viewer (CPM) deals had rare declines -- slipping 1% to 3% on average from the pricing of a year ago.

By contrast, college football, the NFL, and other live sports programming showed gains of 5% or more.

Among some new marketing activations this season is Avocados from Mexico, a new sponsor of ESPN’s "Tailgate Week" on ESPN. During week seven of the season, the brand will regale fans with its “Guac-gating” program, which riffs off the popular guacamole dip/snack around weekend football parties.

Other advertisers for this season include Burger King; BMW; Cintas; Coke Zero; Coors Light; Cracker Barrel; Dave & Buster’s; Dell; Direct TV; DoorDash; Dot’s Pretzels; Duluth; GEICO; Gillette; Goodyear; Guinness; Invesco QQQ; Lexus; McDonald’s; Nationwide; and Nissan.

Beyond these top sponsors -- which have either presenting sponsorships, entitlements or features integration -- Disney says there are more than 280 advertisers in 91 categories with media placements through the season.

Last year, college football on ABC pulled in $345.3 million in national TV advertising, according to EDO Ad EnGage -- delivering 22.6 billion impressions from 6,110 commercial airings.

The top five college football brands on ABC are AT&T ($14.7 million), Nissan ($13.3 million), Allstate ($12.5 million), Capital One ($11.2 million) and Dr Pepper ($10.8 million).

ESPN amassed $201.6 million in ad revenues -- with 26.6 billion impressions from 17,340 airings. The five top brands are AT&T (at $8.6 million), Lexus (with $7.7 million), Allstate (at $6.7 million), Nissan (with $5.3 million) and Dr Pepper (at $4.2 million).

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