CNN Locks Up Election Sponsorships

Cadillac, America’s Natural Gas Alliance are new for 2012 cycle
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Five Advertisers have voted for CNN’s premiere election coverage packages.

Some of the advertisers—AT&T, Exxon, General Motors’ Cadillac division and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy—will be identified as sponsors Oct. 18 during CNN’s America’s Choice 2012 coverage of the Republican presidential primary debate.

AT&T, Exxon and the Clean Coal Coalition were also CNN election coverage sponsors during the 2008 campaign. Cadillac and America’s Natural Gas Alliance are new this cycle. CNN is also negotiating premiere-level packages with two other potential sponsors, says Greg D’Alba, executive VP and COO, CNN Advertising Sales.

The packages run through election night in November 2012, although many sponsors may decide to extend their involvement through the inauguration in January 2013.

The 2012 election is expected to generate a record level of ad revenue, both from candidates taking advantage of loosened campaign finance laws and from corporate sponsorships.

D’Alba says these multimillion-dollar sponsorships are different from the election four years ago because both the TV time and the digital components were sold during the upfront. “This was the first time that digital moved seamlessly with television,” he says. “As dramatic as the increases were on the television side of our business in the upfront, they were even greater on the digital side as a percentage.”

This year’s packages should also get boosts from mobile and social media. “The difference in four years is, we’re on more screens and with more audience than ever before,” D’Alba says.

Early indications are that the 2012 election events could draw more viewers than last time around, D’Alba adds, with the first Republican debate in June drawing nearly 3.2 million viewers and September’s Tea Party Republican debate attracting 3.6 million.

CNN was selected to host the Oct. 18 debate in Las Vegas by the Western Republican Leadership Conference.

CNN is also actively seeking sponsors for election coverage on CNN Español.

E-mail comments to jlafayette@nbmedia.com and follow him on Twitter: @jlafayette

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