Turner Broadcasting, which would televise the Cubs if they make the playoffs, expects to get a boost because teams from major markets including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are positioned for postseason play.
Jon Diament, executive VP for Turner Sports ad sales, says that the key sponsors of teams such as the Mets, Cubs and Dodgers are also national advertisers. When those teams make the playoffs those sponsors want to continue their association with the teams in the postseason, and Turner is the only place they’ll be playing.
Even before that, Diament says postseason baseball sales are looking good. Sales for Turner’s Sunday afternoon regular season games are sold out. “We always sell out our postseason and we’re on pace to do the same thing. In fact, we’re ahead of where we’ve been the last couple of years.” Prices are up in the high-single to low double-digit range.
Turner is tying into digital by linking with its Bleacher Report site and is offering clients social opportunities.
Some key sponsorships have already been sold. Bank of America will be presenting “MLB Memory Bank Moments,” a new feature that encourages fans to share moments via social media. Also new is “Inside the Booth” presented by Esurance during Wild Card and National League Division Series games. Statcast presented by Amazon Web Services brings Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s proprietary player tracking technology to the telecasts and for a second year, Jim Beam will present a Records and Milestones feature. Lincoln Motor Co. presents the TBS postgame show.
Diament says Turner is close to closing deals with presenting sponsors for its postseason pregame show on TBS, the Wild Card game, NLDS and NL Championship Series.
Live events are becoming increasingly important to advertisers, with sports such as baseball appealing to brand targeting male audiences, notes Barry Lowenthal, president of the Media Kitchen.
“Baseball’s great for multigenerational brand,” Lowenthal Said. It’s still very much a father-son, father-daughter kind of thing.”