BRADENTON, Fla. — The national election season is over and there is no more of that easy political advertising money flowing in. But we are in the midst of the heaviest part of the sports year: the middle of the National Football League schedule, heading for the Superbowl; the windup of the college football season going toward the beginning of 2017 and all of those Bowl games. Let’s not forget professional hockey and NASCAR. So even if yours is not a sports talk station, and you don’t carry any play-by-play broadcasts, there is no reason you cannot find a way to profit from all of this top-of-the-mind activity.
The simplest and most direct route is that short-form feature known to us all as the “Sports Scoreboard.” It’s a mini-feature that works easily with any kind of talk radio format. Most operations intersperse their talk shows, both local and syndicated, with newscasts and news headlines; weathercasts; traffic reports. So, why not include 90 seconds of scores and sports headlines to which a 30-second spot is attached? No matter how successful in the ratings battle your station is, I’m fairly certain that you are not totally, 100% sold-out. There has to be a commercial cluster break or two during the day where a minute and a half, sponsored feature might be inserted. What’s more, sports information marries well with almost any type of ad category from auto dealers to law firms to medical products and a variety of services.
This kind of sponsorship can be packaged up with all sorts of valuable bits and pieces elsewhere. One simple way is by re-naming an hour of local programming as emanating from the (sponsor’s name here) studios. And you don’t even have to hang a sign.
If, indeed, you are carrying play-by-play coverage, a number of vivid opportunities present themselves. Injury time-outs can be identified as offered by a medical service. Here’s another good one I recently heard. It was a comment about an outstanding play described as the gem of the game and the reference was sponsored by a jewelry store. These shorties are coupled with just brief tag lines, but they attract attention. Complete :30- or :60-second commercials were scheduled in other places during the broadcast week.
To tie in the station’s website with a sports page is another valuable option particularly zeroing in on local and regional teams with brief summaries, and highlighting the companion over-the-air advertisers.
What we are describing here is one of the hallmarks of successful and profitable talk stations – imagination. It’s about time to step up to the plate and hit one out of the park.
Plates? Hmmnn. How about a dinnerware and cultlery store?
Al Herskovitz is president of H&H Communications and a TALKERS marketing consultant. He can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org.