Snapchat Reportedly Surpassed Twitter In Daily Users, Inks Deal With Wimbledon

What Happened
There is no denying that Snapchat is one of the fastest growing and most in-demand social networks at the moment. A recent report from Statista revealed that Snapchat had accumulated 110 million daily active users as of last December. Today, a new report from Bloomberg claims that the hot messaging app now has 150 million people using it daily, possibly surpassing Twitter’s 140 million daily active users.

In related news, Snapchat has scored a three-year deal with Wimbledon to promote content from the prestigious, London-based tennis tournament. One global Live Story will be created for opening day and closing day, whereas the day-to-day coverage will be geofenced for U.K. users only. Major Wimbledon sponsors such as Stella Artois, Evian, and Jaguar are reportedly in talks to appear as part of the Live Stories.

What Brands Need To Do
With consumers increasingly shifting from traditional media to digital and social channels, brand marketers need to be mindful of the rising social platforms and move in quickly. Snapchat has been steadily building out its ad products in a bid to win over more ad dollars. The Wimbledon partnership serves to grow Snapchat’s audience with live sports events, an area Twitter also recently got a major boost in thanks to its partnership with the NFL. For brands, it is time to consider getting on Snapchat to reach its 150 million young-skewing users via ads in Live Stories, event sponsorships, custom selfie filters, or branded Geofilters.


Sources: Bloomberg & Digiday

Philadelphia 76ers Sell The First NBA Jersey Ad To StubHub

What Happened
Last month, the NBA approved a three-year trial for teams to put sponsor logos on their team jerseys. On Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers took the leap and struck a deal with StubHub, becoming the first team to ink an on-jersey ad deal in NBA history. The StubHub logo will appear as a small patch on 76ers’ jerseys starting in the 2017-2018 season. Previously, StubHub also announced it will also launch a new ticketing platform for 76ers fans that bridges the primary and secondary markets.

What Brands Need To Do
In a similar vein to the T-Mobile CEO buying a tattoo ad spot on an Olympian track star, this NBA jersey ad initiative is illustrative of how media owners and brands are willing to try out non-traditional forms of advertising to capture viewers’ increasingly fragmented attention. At a time when ad blockers and ad-free streaming services are helping millions of viewers actively avoid ads, it is important for brands to find new ways such as sponsorships and native ads to circumvent consumers’ growing aversion to ads.

For more information on how brands should leverage interesting branded content to earn consumer eyeballs, check out the Ad Avoidance section of our Outlook 2016.


Source: Digiday


Header image is a promotional image from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Allstate Goes Live For March Madness

What Happened
The annual NCAA college basketball tournament is currently underway, and like other major sports events, brands such as Allstate, Coca-Cola, and Kia are getting onboard with the March Madness via ad buys and sponsorships. Allstate, for example, is running ads in Snapchat’s March Madness Live Story and on Twitter. The real-time Twitter campaign features former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and longtime sportscaster Dick Vitale, who share their reactions to games in real time with sponsored tweets and live-streams on Periscope. Moreover, the teams are testing real-time social products as well, as 18 of the 68 teams competing in this year’s tournament tried out Facebook’s Live Video this week to rally their fans.

What Brands Need To Do
A big draw of sports events lies in an immediacy that requires the audience to watch live, which has made sports programming particularly resistant to the ongoing erosion of live ratings. Therefore, Allstate is smart to use live tweeting and Snapchat’s 24-hour-only content channel to lend a sense of that immediacy to its sponsored content and ads. With more and more media platforms exploring live video features, brands should have plenty of opportunities to try their hand at real-time marketing.


Source: AdWeek


Visa Integrates With Super Bowl App For Mobile Payments In Stadium

What Happened
Visa announced today that its mobile payment service Visa Checkout will be integrated into the official Super Bowl 50 app to allow attendees at Levi’s Stadium to order and pay for drinks without leaving their seats. As a long-time sponsor of the NFL, Visa has also installed over 700 point-of-sale terminals in the stadium to let fans purchase NFL merchandise by simply tapping their phones.

What Brands Need To Do
Through this Visa Checkout integration, the NFL is bringing a digitally enhanced experience to its games. Together, mobile payments and other mobile and location-based tools can open up new opportunities for event organizers and brand sponsors to effectively connect with the audience via their smartphones during live events.


Source: AdAge

Facebook Launches Live Sports Hub Just In Time For Super Bowl

What Happened
Facebook has started building its own content hub for sports fans in order to compete for second-screen attention during live events. Dubbed Sports Stadium, the new content vertical went live on Wednesday in the Facebook iOS app. It shows live scores, player stats, and play-by-play information alongside relevant user-generated content. Sports fans will be able to see what their friends are saying as well as comments from “certified experts,” such as teams, leagues, and journalists, and voice their own opinions as games progress.

What Brands Need To Do
A huge number of sports watchers already turn to the Facebook app for the second screen experience during games. According to Facebook, over 350 million users talked about the matches during the 2014 World Cup, and about 65 million people posted on Facebook during last year’s Super Bowl. So it makes sense for the social network to create a content hub for sports event in order to congregate the fans and offer brands a channel to reach this interest-based demo.  


Source: Re/code

Header image courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

How Toyota Is Using Custom Twitter Emoji To Connect With Football Lovers

What Happened
Automaker Toyota has become the latest band to join in on the branded emoji craze and partnered with Twitter for to reach football fans. Positioned as “a digital tailgate cheer,” Toyota will launch a contest to encourage football fans to tweet its new campaign hashtag #letsgofan, which comes with a custom fan finger emoji. The automaker is also hoping that this would help drive fans to download FanMoji, a branded custom keyboard app that Toyota recently launched as a part of its new sports-centric campaign.

What Brands Need To Do
Twitter started testing hashtag-specific custom emojis earlier this year, with Coca-Cola providing the first branded emoji in September. From ABC’s TGIT lineup to brands like Dove and Starbucks, those mini digital stickers that reward consumers for tweeting out branded hashtags are quickly proliferating across the twitterverse, offering brands a good visual signifier to engage the fans with.


Source: Digiday


Yahoo’s NFL Stream Proves Livestreaming Sports Is Still A Few Years Away

What Happened
On Sunday, Yahoo livestreamed the NFL game it acquired for about $17 million by putting it on the homepage of its website and setting to autoplay. The livestream drew 15.2 million unique viewers overall, but only averaged 2.36 million viewers throughout the game, significantly less than what NFL games usually get on TV. While no major disruption or technical issue occurred during the game, Yahoo’s livestream received mixed reviews from the viewers, who took to Twitter to voice their dissatisfactions, mostly over the fact that they couldn’t watch it on TV.  

Market Impact
All things considered, Yahoo’s livestream of the Bills-Jaguars game is a well-executed experiment that the NFL tried in order to gauge the viability of broadcasting its content online. Judging by the largely mixed results, it looks like the ecosystem of sports watching – where many viewers still prefer to watch it on TV either in sports bars or at home – has yet to catch up with the TV industry’s shift towards OTT viewing. The average viewership number suggests that moving sports event online is still at least a few years away from reality.


Source: Re/Code

NFL Brings Real-Time Broadcasts To Internet Radio TuneIn

What Happened
The NFL has become the latest sports league to broadcast their content via Internet-based audio services. On Sunday, the NFL announced a partnership with TuneIn, which will carry daily coverage of NFL games through its $7.99-per-month premium subscription. Previously, NFL’s live audio broadcasts were only available on Westwood One radio network and satellite radio service SiriusXM. TuneIn boasts 60 million monthly active users, and this new partnership will no doubt increase the reach of the NFL’s audio content, while helping TuneIn to sell more subscriptions. Previously, the MLB stroke a similar deal with TuneIn in August.

What Brands Need To Do
Branded audio content typically gets distributed as free podcasts. For instance, ESPN publishes several podcasts per day on its website to update fans on sports results, whereas Chanel has a catalog of branded podcasts on fashion news available via the iTunes store. This NFL-TuneIn deal provides a new example of how brands can distribute and monetize their audio content. According to Pandora, Millennials today spend 4 hours per day consuming audio content. Brands with premium audio content, such as live media events or sports, should consider broadening their reach with similar partnerships with popular OTT audio services.


Source: The Verge

IPG Media Lab + DIRECTV: Annual Survey Of The American Football Consumer

Click here to download our survey report.

Live sports broadcasting is arguably the last bastion for live TV viewing. and NFL Football accounts for 1/3 of sports viewing. IPG Media Lab and DIRECTV partnered on an annual “Survey of the American Football Consumer,” which is designed to measure the following:

  • The NFL Viewing Experience
  • NFL Fans’ Passion for the Game
  • Consumption Habits of NFL Fans
  • Brand Relevance to NFL Audiences

To learn more on how to fully connect with American football fans, download and read our survey report here, or read the slides below.



CBS To Live Stream The Super Bowl And More For Free

What Happened
CBS has announced that it will be live streaming next-year’s Super Bowl for free, along with two more regular-season NFL games. The games will be available via, in addition to a wide range of OTT devices including Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, and Chromecast. Moreover, the live streams will be free to watch, with no cable authentication required, which makes perfect sense given the broadcaster’s plan to bundle national Super Bowl ad spots with its corresponding streaming ad units, as making the livestreams more accessible would no doubt help CBS upsell those bundled ad units.

What Brands Should Do
As time-shifted viewing continues to erode live viewerships, big sport events has long been the last bastion that still consistently post huge ratings. As more and more people choose to cut the cord, media owners need to realize the importance of making content accessible on streaming platforms that audience has migrated to. CBS says it is trying to “experiment and gauge what the audience appetite is for live sports on digital platforms” with the aforementioned new initiatives, and the same holds true for all brands that seek to reach their audience with branded content.


Source: Digiday