Your client at the College World Series
More than 300,000 fans will attend CWS games in Omaha
March 21, 2017
The College World Series will begin in just under three months in Omaha, Nebraska, an event that crowns the NCAA Division I baseball champion.
For advertisers, the CWS has great appeal. The event routinely brings in more than 300,000 fans over the course of its run, many of them college-age males.
The tournament also lasts roughly a week and a half, giving advertisers a chance for extended exposure among college baseball fans.
To find out how to get your client at the College World Series, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues.
Advertising and sponsorship at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, from June 17 to June 27/28 (depending on weather and how many games are needed).
The NCAA handles official sponsorship for the CWS.
Advertisers can also book non-official CWS OOH inventory, such as billboards or transit ads, through local OOH vendors.
How it works
Since 2011 the College World Series has been played at TD Ameritrade Park, a 24,000-seat stadium that serves as the regular-season home to the Creighton University Bluejays. The new stadium is located in the downtown area of Omaha.
As with all NCAA championship events, there are no ads or sponsors allowed in the stadium during games. Still, there are plenty of ways for advertisers to get in front of the many fans who congregate in Omaha annually.
There are a number of official events hosted by the NCAA, such as the CWS Fan Fest, sponsored by Capital One. The Fan Fest includes all of the attractions you would expect, such as interactive exhibits and sampling from NCAA sponsors.
The NCAA also hosts a youth baseball clinic sponsored by Powerade and a “Road to Omaha” 5K run that benefits the Omaha Parks Foundation.
There are other ways to get in front of CWS fans as well. Billboards around town, of course, are visible to them as they commute to games. Another option is print advertising in the programs sold at CWS games.
Advertisers can also get on buses that shuttle the thousands of CWS fans around Omaha. The local transit authority sets up park-and ride-locations with these buses that take fans to and from the stadium.
Residents around Omaha see the ads on the sides of the buses as they ferry fans to and fro.
The CWS has been played in Omaha since 1950, and the NCAA plans to keep it there through at least 2035.
The 2013 event had the highest per-game average attendance at 24,400.
How it is measured
Organizers track attendance at CWS games, along with the number of programs sold. In addition, advertisers with tents or booths can count how many samples or branded items they distribute.
What product categories do well
Frequent ad categories include telecom, credit cards, soft drinks, insurance, fast food, hotels, retail, consumer electronics, auto and consumer packaged goods.
Eleven percent are ages 18-24, 19 percent are 25-34, 21 percent are 35-44, 19 percent are 45-54, 15 percent are 55-64 and 15 percent are 65-plus.
Fifty-eight percent have an annual household income of $50,000 or more, with 41 percent at $75,000 or more and 20 percent at $100,000 or more.
Making the buy
The NCAA doesn’t disclose pricing for corporate sponsorships. Its top-level sponsors spend a reported $20 million to $30 million annually. Others spend between $10 million and $15 million per year.
For ads on buses, lead time is typically two weeks. Pricing varies widely based on volume and the length of the campaign. For example, a one-month campaign with a fully wrapped bus might cost $3,000 or $4,000, but a year-long campaign might bring that cost down below $1,000 per month.
Who’s already at the College World Series
College World Series/NCAA sponsors include Capital One, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Allstate, Amazon, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Lowe’s, LG, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Nabisco, Unilever and Enterprise.
What they’re saying
“What’s cool about where the stadium is, it’s right downtown. You get tons of brand exposure, and the amount of people [in town] is insane. Last year there were more than 360,000 people based on tickets sold. And with transit, you’re right in the thick of it.” — Juli Jackson, account executive at Houck Transit Advertising.
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