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NBC Will Lead Ad Sales for the Los Angeles Olympics

Category: Other Sports,Sports

The Summer Olympics won’t arrive in Los Angeles for another nine years, but its local organizing committee will begin selling Olympic advertising as soon as 2021.

The organizing committee, LA 2028, and the Olympic television partner NBCUniversal are announcing a comprehensive partnership to sell advertising and sponsorships for all Olympic and Paralympic Games from 2021 through 2028.

Traditionally, advertisers interested in the Olympics have had to approach a number of different sellers. They went to NBC, which will televise the Olympics through 2032, to purchase television advertising before, during and after Games. They went to the United States Olympic Committee to sponsor Team USA. They went to the local organizing committee for marketing efforts at the Games themselves.

Now they will go to NBCUniversal, which will lead the partnership, for all of it, giving the International Olympic Committee’s largest media partner unprecedented power over the marketing of the Olympics in the United States.

“What we are responding to here is not what the marketplace needs, but is demanding,” said Casey Wasserman, chairman of LA 2028, in an interview.

Linda Yaccarino, the chairman of advertising at NBCUniversal, said advertisers will be able to purchase the rights to intellectual property, product marketing and to opportunities to market their companies at the games through the partnership, in addition to buying traditional television and digital streaming advertising.

LA 2028 and the U.S.O.C. had previously formed a joint venture to control U.S.-related Olympic and Paralympic sponsorship rights for the same time period, 2021 through 2028. According to Wasserman, LA 2028 has given the U.S.O.C. a $480 million guarantee for those rights. Details of how NBCUniversal, the U.S.O.C. and LA 2028 will divide revenues were not released.

The International Olympic Committee mandates local organizing committees reach a commercial agreement for the Games with their national Olympic committee to avoid confusion. But the I.O.C. doesn’t stipulate what that agreement looks like, and the one between LA 2028 and the U.S.O.C. is particularly long.

The eight-year joint venture is three years longer than the five-year partnership between the local organizing committee and the U.S.O.C. ahead of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The length is intentional, to facilitate selling to sponsors who want to be involved for more than one Olympics cycle.

“In the world of sports, long-term sponsor deals are the norm,” said Wasserman, pointing to television rights agreements and title sponsorships that extend for 10 or 20 years.

LA 2028 is targeting $2.5 billion in total sponsorship revenue for the Games, Wasserman said.

NBCUniversal made a “significant financial commitment” to LA 2028 as part of the agreement but declined to reveal the amount.


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