Taco Bell Is Ad All-Star


"Yo quiero a rusty Roger Clemens" could be Taco Bell's new motto, at least when it comes to in-stadium sponsorships.

In its first high-profile outing, Nielsen Sports' new Sponsorship Scorecard service found that Taco Bell was the big ad winner in the MLB All-Star Game last week.

The scorecard, introduced this month, measures TV exposure of sponsored media (visible occurrences) in sports events. That includes real and electronic signage and sponsorship of contests.

Taco Bell, for instance, sponsored a contest in which a fan had 30 seconds to throw five strikes (he did) to win a million bucks. Taco Bell was on the cut-out he had to throw through as well as the cart that held the balls and the big check for $1 million.

Taco Bell was also the first-inning sponsor, with an electronic sign behind home plate, so it benefited big time from six-time Cy Young winning pitcher Roger Clemens troubles. The Houston Astros pitcher was tagged for a record 6 runs in a long first inning that helped Taco Bell achieve a 9 minute, 30 second duration for 83 unique exposures of its sponsored visuals, or a total of 1,200,084 viewers 18-plus.

Nielsen Sports SVP Barbara Zidovsky called Taco Bell's results "a good example of how much exposure advertisers can achieve in a televised sporting event," said . "Advertisers will now have a currency to assign value to sports sponsorships."

The Sponsorship Scorecard is in a soft launch, with about a dozen blue chip clients including advertisers, teams and networks testing it on baseball games, as well as some tennis and NASCAR races. It will roll out wide for all sports in the fall.

Nielsen Sports is a unit of VNU Media, which also owns Nielsen Media Research.