The Marketing Power of
Stadium Advertising

What do AT&T, Gillette, FedEx, Bank of America, Caesars, Allegiant, and Ford all have in common besides being major corporations? How about DoorDash, TicketSmarter, Rackley Roofing, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and the Tennessee Lottery?

Each sponsors an NFL or MLB stadium or a NASCAR race, and each has learned the power of stadium advertising.

In this stadium advertising blog post, you will learn what these powerhouse corporations have figured out.

Captive Audiences Notice Advertising

If you are a Pats fan, you cannot have a conversation about the team without mentioning the Gillette Stadium or some iteration of the name. The same is true of Lincoln Financial Field (also known as “The Link”) if you root for the Philadelphia Eagles. If you are a fan of NASCAR, the Penzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube has become one of the best races on the circuit.

There is a reason so many corporations (over 60,000) do in-stadium advertising of one sort or another. Even channel surfers at home are exposed to the name of an event and see that name prominently displayed several times during a game or race. If you are in the stadium, you see the logo for the sponsor and any other advertising multiple times throughout your time there.

It is estimated that seven of 10 event attendees and television consumers recognize advertisers at sporting events. That includes stadium naming, event sponsorship, and in-stadium advertising.

Attendance and Opportunity Equal Brand Recognition

A big part of this is that the audience wants to be there in person or watch the event on television, which means each person is more susceptible to being influenced by what they see. Plus, advertising in a stadium presents multiple opportunities to get your name in front of fans. Those include, but are not limited to:

  • Stadium name
  • Event sponsorship
  • Print programs and schedules
  • Scoreboard sponsors
  • LED/digital signage
  • Premium events (giveaways)
  • Concourse signage
  • Perimeter Advertising (playing area perimeter walls)
  • On-field sponsorship events
  • Roof-Top Advertising on dugout and stadium roofs

With that many advertising venues, an ambitious campaign can ensure that everyone in attendance and television viewers can be exposed to the premium stadium and arena advertising.

Opportunities for Creativity

While major sports provide endless advertising opportunities and exposure, a business does not have to “think big” to be effective.

A local business can sponsor a little league team or ballpark. Sponsoring a concession stand lets your business provide a desired snack to fans and players while presenting your name to them simultaneously. Underwriting a youth sports league is also a great way to get your name out to every player’s family.

On a larger scale, buying space at a college sports complex lets you present yourself to everyone in attendance and watching on television. You can also usually get a slot in any programs or printed schedules.

Non-Traditional Sports Advertising

Of course, pro stadium and event advertising are prevalent wherever a sporting event is held. Major athletic shoemakers advertise all over the Boston Marathon course and on the players in the form of clothing and on their race placards.

Sponsoring an event or aspect of an event (like golf carts, beverage carts, etc.) at an event for the Special Olympics, for example, is also very effective and popular. Advertising at these types of events or venues lets an organization show support for the event or organization and get a lot of exposure before, during, and after an event.

At pro-sports events, sponsoring events like half-time, and half-court basketball shooting competitions keep a good portion of an audience in their seats during the down-time and gets an organization’s name in front of them for a solid 20 minutes. Local news stations usually cover these pro-sports events, especially if someone wins.

A Long, Effective Record

Part of the reason in-stadium advertising is popular is that it is so effective. Advertisers recognized this virtually from the building of the first stadium or arena. There are examples of stadium naming and advertising by sponsoring stadiums that date back to the early days of Major League Baseball.

Perhaps the most famous is Wrigley Field in Chicago. In 1927, the stadium was named after William Wrigley, Wrigley’s chewing gum owner. Over two million fans attended baseball games within two years, and each was greeted with “Welcome to Wrigley Field” signs, reminding every fan multiple times what company was invested in the Cubs.

Since then, corporate stadium advertising has exploded in every pro-sports venue. Companies have sponsored everything from the equipment players use to the names of events and the arenas or stadiums they play. It is rare to find a pro sports complex that does not have some facility sponsorship.

Technology Has Expanded Opportunities

As we have become more digitally oriented, new opportunities have availed themselves to pro and amateur sports. Scoreboards were first used and were very effective. Since the 1990s, digital advertising has become the predominant means of advertising throughout the sports world. Popular methods include:

  • Scrolling advertising behind home plate or at different seating levels in major arenas
  • Sponsors listed on digital menus in the concourse or vending areas
  • Interactive websites that highlight sponsors on every page
  • Scrolling panel advertising on scoreboards that advertise during live play and instant replay on stadium scoreboards
  • Running ads on baseball stadium advertising boards or jumbotrons during breaks in play

Another way technology has changed in-stadium advertising is that much of it has become tied to interactive websites, promotions, and event advertising. Technology enables companies to get in front of fans no matter where they are–in the privacy of their homes, stadium, or event watch party.

Final Thoughts

The organizations mentioned above have discovered that stadium advertising lets a business or organization show its logo and slogan to a captive audience. Even better, the opportunities for advertising in the stadium are limited only to the organization’s creativity.

Stadium and event advertising will likely continue to grow and provide opportunities for businesses and organizations to promote themselves for the foreseeable future.