NBC Hopes to Top $1.03B in Olympic Sales

Network expects to begin closing deals for next Olympics before year-end.

NBC projected its total advertising-sales take for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to end up around $1.03 billion, and it expects to begin closing deals for the next Olympics before the end of 2008.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games

According to Seth Winter, senior vice president for NBC Sports & Olympics sales and marketing, the company wrote $25 million in business since the start of the games, on top of the $1 billion mark it hit prior. He added that it marks the most business the company has done after the start of the Olympics.

Winter says he hopes to write another $5 million-$10 million before the Games end, despite the expected ratings cool-off with Michael Phelps out of the pool and the gymnasts off the mats for good.

“We’re getting spoiled with the ratings, but no one would turn their nose up at a mid-teen rating, which is what we’ll be doing,” Winter said Tuesday in a telephone interview from China.

Winter added that the recent business has come from a wide range of categories, including film studios, insurance, retail, packaged goods and automotive.

And Winter said thanks to the strong audience delivery for this year’s Games, he expects to “close some pretty significant deals” for upcoming Olympics in the next 3-4 months. NBC has the domestic rights to both Vancouver 2010 and London 2012.

Citing research from IAG Research, NBC also said traditional advertising in the Games is delivering 14% higher brand recall, 20% higher message recall and 13% ad likeability than normal spots on the network.

And when the creative running in the Games is Olympic-themed, those figures jump to 29%, 40% and 33%, respectively.

“We’ve demonstrated that the closer you can get the advertising to the content, the higher the effectiveness of the advertising,” NBC research chief Alan Wurtzel said in a telephone interview from China Tuesday.