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Are We Not Selling Sports Radio Correctly?

Dave Greene

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Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an article with the headline, “To Reach Men, Advertisers Dial In To Sports Radio.” The premise of the article was fairly simple: sports radio is a good vehicle for advertisers to use in order to reach men.

After reading this article, I can only assume some other topics considered for this space were:

Truman actually defeats Dewey.

This internet thing may catch on.

Calgon found to not really ‘take you away.’

Replay shows Denkinger missed call in ’85 World Series (sorry, that one’s personal!). 

Image result for Denkinger missed call

Now, any publicity is good publicity (or so they say), and I was not only glad the format received some pub, but also that a station the company I work for, Entercom, was featured in it (KFXX, 1080 The Fan in Portland).  At the same time, I was stunned this was a story in 2018.  Sports radio helps advertisers reach men? You don’t say?

Perhaps I am being naïve here, but don’t most people already know this?  Over 30 years since the format started and August 19, 2018 was the day the second largest circulated newspaper in the United States decided to write a story on this subject?

I then came to the part of the article where John Fitzgerald, Vice President of ESPN’s multimedia sales for audio and ESPN Deportes, had this to say on the topic of sports radio:

One of the things that advertisers are starting to understand is that sports radio is not your grandfather.  We do well with 18 to 49, we do well with 25 to 54, and we do well with 35-plus, but there’s this idea that, this old white guy — and I can say this as an older white guy — and they’re now trapped in what they do and they’re going to do that forever.

Advertisers think this?  I have to say this is one objection, of the hundreds I’ve heard, that I personally do not hear, but if this is what people outside of our industry think of the sports radio audience, we have big problems. We all know that our audience is in acquisition mode, out there spending dough, but maybe we aren’t telling enough people that.

Is our format and its strengths a secret?  Maybe we really have done the worst job in history of getting a message out there.  Maybe we have to keep telling people over and over and over again that sports radio was the “original digital” – TARGETED ADVERTISING.  If a business needs men with money in order to exist as a business, it would behoove them to use our products and our format in their marketing mix.

I used to have a boss that would put it this way, “Picture a business with an armed guard standing in front of it.  The guards are there to make sure absolutely NO men between the ages of 25-54 go in that business.  Would the business survive?  If not, they’re a great target for us.”

Image result for armed guard outside business

Perhaps it needs to be repeated even further that our format is the absolute best when it comes to having little to no waste (or as the article refers to it, the “cost per relevant person”).  Advertisers are welcome to pay higher prices for “bigger” stations or formats, but they might want to narrow down who their target is and analyze how much of their ad dollar is hitting that specific target with that buy.

The article did mention two of my favorite things to talk about, talent endorsements and the relationship between hosts in sports radio and the listeners, that trust that is built up that makes endorsements work.  I often say that sports radio should be a cross between a fraternity and a cult and few other formats really build that type of relationship with their core audience.

That’s our story.  If you haven’t been out preaching and selling the quality of our audience, the engagement between our hosts and audience and the exceptional value when it comes to hitting your target market, you’ve been doing it wrong.

And clearly either a lot of us have been doing it wrong, or it was just a really slow news day.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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BSM Writers

Media Noise: What Is Realistic For FOX at the World Cup?

Demetri Ravanos

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On this special holiday edition of Media Noise, Demetri Ravanos dives into the controversy and criticism surrounding FOX’s coverage of the World Cup in Qatar.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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