Over the next few months, brands will be looking to the overlapping NHL and NBA playoffs as an opportunity to reach a wide-ranging sports audience. Both leagues feature diverse, growing fan bases and they’re also both enjoying strong viewership this season – especially the NBA.
However, advertisers looking to maximize their 2018 NHL/NBA playoff strategies face additional challenges tied to the evolution of viewing habits and how playoff TV content in consumed. Each league is offering multiple live-streaming options for the upcoming playoffs alongside the traditional linear and cable broadcasts, and viewers will have more options than ever before to access the live games.
This means robust TV data will play an important role in any successful playoff cross-screen strategy – here’s how brands can activate TV data to ensure maximum reach, engagement and ROI on their NHL/NBA playoffs investment:
Syncing television viewership with second-screen digital advertising in real-time allows for moment-based marketing that is especially effective during TV sports events. This requires visual Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) to ensure the highest degree of scale and accuracy, and Samba TV offers the industry’s largest and most complete TV data set which is sourced from 13.5M opt-in US households across all states, cities and DMAs. Once ACR technology is combined with a proprietary device map, real-time retargeting of playoff game viewers becomes a very powerful and effective strategy.
Because ACR can recognize commercials for a brand and it’s competitors, retargeting viewers based on commercial exposure is another key strategy during the NHL/NBA playoffs. The majority of playoff viewers will use a second screen while watching games, which means engagement and awareness decrease as viewer attention turns to a device during commercial breaks. Whether your goal is to extend reach for an existing playoff TV plan, or conquest a competitor that’s running playoff spots, the combination of Samba TV’s visual ACR and a robust device map again provides the ability to reach viewers based on their exposure to a specific TV spot.
Targeting audiences programmatically based on viewership of specific TV content – genre, network, program or TV spot – is an effective complement to real-time syncing that provides extended reach and scale. For playoff flights that can extend across several months, programmatic audience targeting is an ideal option for driving consistent brand exposure with TV audiences. Ideally, a playoff programmatic strategy would include three TV-based targeting components: 1) Viewers of the NBA/NHL playoff games 2) Viewers exposed to a brand’s TV spot 3) Viewers exposed to a competitor’s TV spot.
Twitter is the go-to platform for postgame discussion and social sharing of highlight videos during the NHL and NBA playoffs. When TV data is applied to Twitter, brands can reach viewers with promoted tweets based on their playoff game viewership and exposure to a TV spot. Samba TV has partnered directly with Twitter to make our programmatic segments available for powering audience targeting, allowing brands to leverage the platform for a critical social component in their NBA/NHL playoff media strategy.