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The Power of Local Sports Sponsorships: How Can Your Brand Get in on the Action? 

For advertisers, sports present a powerful opportunity to align brand messaging with moments of connectivity, fostering a lasting impact on engagement and loyalty.​ Here’s how your brand can get in on the action – from the Super Bowl to the Olympics, and the youth leagues in your local community.  

Meredith Cunningham Published: August 30, 2023
The Power of Local Sports Sponsorships: How Can Your Brand Get in on the Action?  image

From the Olympics to the Super Bowl, March Madness to the Stanley Cup, and even the hometown Little League team, local audiences love the passion, excitement, and competitive spirit that sports bring to the table. With sports advertising, fans of all ages feel a sense of community, form emotional connections with the athletes and teams, and are captivated by life-changing and inspirational moments.  

Thanks to the halo effect that sports (and local news stations) offer, brands that sponsor sports content can easily connect with these passionate fans, capture their attention, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive home sales.  

For brands looking to jump into TV, streaming, and digital advertising alongside sports content, we’ve drafted some stats and ideas to help you out of the gate and across the finish line.  

Amid Uncertainty, Sports Advertising is a Slam Dunk 

Who says the days of appointment viewing are over?  

While there may be economic fluctuations and uncertainties, the underlying appeal of sports as a form of entertainment and community remains steadfast. In fact, live sports are one of the few forms of content that people still prefer to watch in real-time. Live content in itself has several advantages for advertisers, making sports advertising extremely impactful and influential. TVNewsCheck, Kantar, and Nielsen have found:  

  • Advertisers spent $17.7B on national U.S. linear TV sports programming last year, up from $14.9 in 2021 ​(Not including regional sports networks or streaming ad spending). 
  • 2023 ad spend on linear TV sports is projected to increase by another 15-20% ​ 
  • The sports sponsorship market was valued at $57B in 2020 and is expected to reach $89B by 2027​ 

Sports Sponsorships Win With Audiences​ 

Sports sponsorships are incredibly effective at winning over audiences due to their unique advantages in terms of brand visibility, emotional resonance, and community engagement. A poll from C4 found sports advertising to be:  

  • Progressive: 91% believe sponsorship is the future of advertising​ 
  • Trusted: 89% see sponsor brands on TV as more trustworthy than other forms of advertising​ 
  • Intrinsically Part of the Viewing Experience: 79% accept and expect sponsorship as part of the​ TV experience, and 80% of viewers state that sponsorship credits act as the cue to their program viewing​ 
  • Premium Perception: 76% of viewers feel that TV sponsorship is a more expensive form of advertising, and in turn, 91% perceive sponsoring brands to be more premium
  • Purchase Intent: Among those who recalled the sponsorships, 54% stated that they were more likely to buy a sponsor’s product​ 

Sponsorship Opportunities with Team TEGNA 

With 64 stations in 51 markets from coast to coast, brands looking to align with sports content have a unique opportunity with TEGNA’s broadcast, streaming, and digital content sponsorships.  

Sports Report 

Airing in select markets, brands can align with trustworthy and fun sports content that TEGNA’s sports reporters provide. As viewers engage, watch highlights, and stay up-to-date with their favorite teams, your brand sees high-exposure moments with seamless sponsorship integration that can include 30-second spots, logo placements, and more.  

This sponsorship allows advertisers to be the entitlement sponsor of select sports segments aired on your local TEGNA station. With multiple integrations throughout, it delivers high-exposure moments while seamlessly aligning brands with the most up-to-date local sports action. ​ 

NFL Season & Super Bowl 

The NFL is the biggest and best opportunity to reach massive, loyal, and engaged audiences. Viewership is up across the NFL’s three biggest broadcast partners, including CBS and FOX, with year-over-year increases in regular-season viewership. And through the jungle of sports networks and content providers (including NBC, ABC, and Amazon), fans continued to select broadcast as the medium of choice to watch NFL games. In fact, nine out of 10 pro-football viewers exclusively watched games on broadcast TV. Even 75% of Gen Z adults, those 18 to 24, tuned in to broadcast for their weekly football fix. 

The action on the field is not the only reason people are tuning into NFL action.  

“The Super Bowl is one of the last bastions of live, engaged audiences and the perfect opportunity to capture waning attention spans. In fact, many Super Bowl viewers in the US said commercials were their favorite part of the game,” says Joe Allen, Sponsorships Manager at TEGNA. “It creates a unique opportunity to provide advertisers an exclusive space to entertain, resonate, and form emotional connections with viewers.” 

Summer Olympics in Paris  

Did you know 85% of Americans consider themselves a fan of the Olympics? These fans are as good as gold for advertisers, as MRI-Simmons Research found Olympic fans are receptive to and influenced by TV ads.  

  • 22% more likely to agree that TV advertising provides useful information about new products/services ​ 
  • 15% more likely to agree that TV advertising provides useful information about bargains
  • 9% more likely to agree that TV advertising is amusing ​ 
  • 7% more likely to agree that TV advertising is interesting and gives them something to ​
    talk about ​ 

Better yet, Scarborough Research USA+ says Olympic fans have disposable income and are not afraid to open their wallets. These prestige high-income earners have an average household income of  $96k, vs. $88k for the average adult, an average net worth of $636k, and spend an annual average of $865 on items bought online.  

Train Your Marketing Campaigns with Team TEGNA 

Our ultimate goal is to equip brands with insights to capture the hearts and minds of sports fans nationwide. Team TEGNA knows the power of cross-platform ad campaigns that combine TV, streaming and digital assets, and we’re ready to jump-start your campaign today. With 64 broadcast stations in 51 markets nationwide, TEGNA has a unique ability to reach drivers across Broadcast, OTT Streaming, and digital solutions. Contact us today to see how we can accelerate your advertising. 

Want to learn more about sports advertising? Be sure to check out: 

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