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Report: Sports Advertisers Need To Use Video Games

If you're an advertiser who handles sports content and you're not looking at sports video games, you're missing out on a big opportunity.

Or so says TNS, the world's largest custom research company, who today has released their findings from the recent ESPN Sports Poll, which "explored the similarities among traditional sports fans and the sports gamer audience." Conducted with the help of EA, the results suggest that sports advertisers should definitely turn their attention to the likes of franchises like Madden, NBA Live, MLB: The Show, and NHL. Said Robert Fox, Senior Vice President at TNS and Executive Director of the ESPN Sports Poll:

"Fans consume sports in multidimensional ways. Today's interactive entertainment enables fans to engage with their favorite sports on a platform that looks incredibly close to the real thing. When a person is engaged in the video game, there is no channel surfing, and the game is paused only for necessity. This is a terrific way for real-world advertisers and sponsors to develop incremental affinity for their brands."

"Avid Fans" should be the target for advertisers; fans who really follow two or three sports. The NFL has the largest number of Avid Fans, coming in at 85 million, which is followed by college football (64 million) and Major League Baseball (53 million). These very same avid fans also play sports video games: about half the households in this country have a gaming console of some kind and of these households, 69% of the avid sports fans own at least one sports video game. The relevant statistics include:

  • Three-quarters of these players are male
  • More than half are between the ages of 18-34
  • They tend to be single males with disposable income
  • Most surprisingly, they are more physically active than sports fans in general (60% of Sports Gamers have exercised or participated in a sports activity within the past week compared with 44% of sports fans.)

IEG Sponsorship estimates that around $12 billion, or 68 cents of every dollar, is spent on sports-related sponsorship. The recent poll study says that three out of four sports fans say that in-game advertising does play a part in reinforcing the impact of that sport. Said Elizabeth Harz, Senior Vice President of Global Media Sales at EA:

"Fans have grown to expect that the game experience mirrors the real world and allows them to be Mark Sanchez for the night. Part of the authenticity is the advertising that is imbedded in the game or that is dynamically served during connected play, and includes the finer details like in-stadium and in-arena signage. For sponsors looking to differentiate their brand in a crowded field, the Sports Gamer is influential and the messaging options robust."

2/10/2010 10:30:34 AM Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (9 posts)

photo K
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 10:55:12 AM

its so strange, but I fit into every one of those demographics that was mentioned in this article...

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fluffer nutter
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 6:46:04 PM

Everything applies to me except for being single.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 11:19:23 AM

Didn't Burnout do this? Seems to me some of the billboards would change when you were playing the game, I almost think there was a vote Obama one before the election. I think it was that game but I could be confusing it with another.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 1:10:29 PM

They make some good points, but I don't want to see intentional ad placements they do not fit with the game, i.e. Madden 10's pop ups.

The MLB series could definitely benefit by having real world companies/products in the game for owners to choose from to place ads around the stadium.

If done right and consistent with real world applications, in-game advertising could work.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 4:02:52 PM

I wouldn't have a problem with it as long as it's not a pop=up ad, or if it interferes with playing the game in any way.

But in the same token, if all those advertising dollars are going to the developers &/or publishers, then they should also discount those games to us at least $5 cheaper.
That way, everyone wins, & everyone's happy!

Now about single males with disposable income, I may be a single male, but I rarely have disposable income.

It seems all my income finds away to pull a "Houdini" on me & dispose of itself, before I'm ever able to see it, "POOF"....Vanished into thin air, LOL.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 5:14:46 PM

I think adding ads along the boards in hockey/baseball or having sponsored bowl game logos in NCAA games, etc is fine since it adds to a sense of realism. I think having ads that slow the game play is unforgivable (looking at you wipeout).
I would also like to see the game price drop if there are ads since that would be extra income.

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fluffer nutter
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 6:46:45 PM

What ads slowed the gameplay? I saw a couple ads that showed up during the loading screen, before races, but nothing during gameplay.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 6:24:56 PM

Seeing a product on a desk in an action game . like a can of Coke/Pepsi/etc, a bag of Wise potato chips, or a Hersey chocolate bar,something to that effect would also be OK.

Just remember, our $5 game discount if you do allow placement ads.
Hell, the company who's ads are being placed could even subsidize the $5 off, or at least go 50/50 with the developer on the $5.)

Better yet, let more company's do like that phone company did when they sponsored a DL game & gave us that $9.99 "Rag Doll Fung-Fu" for free.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010 @ 11:50:20 PM

no the last thing i want in my video games is freaking ads.
as if seeing adds posted at bus stops, on traffic light posts, outside shops, on electronic billboards, TV, newspaper, radio, internet.
i think thats enough.
im about 2mm away from ringing up foxtel giving them a ear full and canceling my subscription.
i was trying to watch a episode of mythbusters today and every freaking 10 minutes there was a add break.
why am i paying to watch adds?

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