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Male Media Opps: ESPN launches ad to celebrate NHL's return to Disney
To celebrate the Fallon, it launched during ESPN's coverage of Monday Night Football. It will run on Disney's owned and other paid linear and digital platforms up to and throughout the upcoming NHL season. Thanks to its return to Disney, the NHL will be featured on linear and D2C sports platforms including ABC, ESPN, ESPN+ and Hulu.
So far this year, iSpot reports ESPN has spent approximately $2.6m on national TV commercials, already 8% more than the approximately $2.4m it spent in all of 2020. This full-year spend approximation was only around a quarter of that of $8.6m in 2019. ESPN's 2021 commercials have targeted male, sports-oriented consumers watching shows such as NBA Basketball, MLS Soccer, MLB Baseball, Elevate Your Retirement and Fútbol: Post.
According to Pathmatics, the brand has allocated roughly $23m toward digital ads YTD, up 33% from the roughly $17.3m it allocated within the same 2020 timeframe. ESPN's estimated full-year spend of 2020, $28m, was only around half of that of $57.3m in 2019. Since the beginning of 2021, it has earned ~4.3b digital impressions via Instagram (32%), Facebook (27%), desktop video (19%), desktop display (15%), mobile display (4%) and Twitter (3%) ads.
Additionally, Magellan reveals ESPN has aired around 150 podcast ads within the past 12 months.
The drops in last year's TV and digital spend make sense considering 2020's canceled sports events and how much ESPN relies on reaching male sports enthusiasts. Of course, though, ESPN's spend has already picked back up. The brand has a wide target demographic but that demographic does have a strong male skew. Per Kantar data, ESPN also invests in print, OOH, radio and local broadcast. Remember, its TV commercials target both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences; the same is true of its print ads. Sellers able to offer high-ROI strategies among men should get in touch.
Agency & martech readers - You may be able to secure project-based work here down the road. We are working hard to determine whether ESPN is working with Fallon on a project-based or AOR basis; we will keep you updated. Right now, ESPN primarily works with creative AOR Starcom.