Your client in Houston for the Super Bowl
This year's big game for the NFL title takes place at NRG Stadium
January 17, 2017
Houston has the fourth-biggest population of any city in the U.S., meaning it has plenty of eyeballs for out-of-home advertising.
That number will grow ahead of Super Bowl LI, which takes place at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Feb. 5.
It will be the third time Houston has hosted the big game, and the first since 2004.
Houston is a large geographic area with lots of highways, along with roadside signage. As always, there will also be some Super Bowl-specific OOH opportunities for advertisers to take advantage of
To find out more about out-of-home opportunities in Houston ahead of the Super Bowl, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home markets.
Houston, Texas, which hosts next month’s Super Bowl LI.
How it works
Most out-of-home inventory in Houston for the Super Bowl period has been sold, of course, but there are a handful of opportunities remaining. For those, advertisers can expect to pay a premium.
There are two basic ways to approach OOH in a Super Bowl city. One is by using inventory that already exists in the market. The other is advertising and sponsorship at game-related events that take place in the host city.
In this market, some of the busiest roadways are Interstates 10, 45 and 69, as well as the I-610 loop. U.S. highway 59 and Texas state highway 288 both also see plenty of traffic on a daily basis.
Other attractive areas for OOH advertisers in the area include the Houston Galleria, an upscale area in the uptown area of Houston, and The Woodlands, a suburban area home to many corporations.
There are some limitations when it comes to OOH in Houston. For example, there are restrictions on formats such as wallscapes. Also, Houston bans digital billboards, though they are allowed outside of the city limits.
Meanwhile, there are tons of NFL-specific events set to take place in Houston, many with advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
One of the largest events is the NFL Experience, which kicks off at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Jan. 28. Also beginning that day is Super Bowl LIVE!, a free nine-day fan festival in downtown Houston.
The city has since seen the number of billboards slashed by about 85 percent. There are now about 2,600 OOH displays covering 20 counties in the area. The decrease came courtesy of increased regulation, in an effort to make the city more attractive and rid it of what critics said was too much advertising.
The last time the Super Bowl was held in the city, in 2004, the metro population stood at 5.1 million. That has now ballooned to 6.6 million. Back then area airports served roughly 44 million passengers annually. That grew to 55 million as of 2015.
In 2004, the NFL Experience event drew 200,000 attendees, a record at the time. This year, Super Bowl LIVE! event is expected to bring in more than a million fans.
How it is measured
Like other major markets, Geopath (formerly TAB) ratings are used for traditional OOH inventory, while other data such as vehicular traffic, pedestrian traffic and travel surveys can be used.
Attendance at Super Bowl-related events will also be tracked.
What product categories work well
Some of the most common categories using OOH in the market include entertainment, casinos, home builders, travel, chemical/energy and oil.
The Houston DMA is 61 percent white, 36 percent Hispanic [ethnicity], 17 percent African American, 6 percent Asian and 16 percent “other,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (This totals more than 100 percent because respondents could choose more than one race to describe themselves.)
The median age is 34.1, and the median household income is $56,224.
Making the buy
Typical lead time for traditional static billboards in the market can be as low as three to seven days, while digital lead time can be days or even hours. Of course, a good chunk of inventory for the Super Bowl got gobbled up well in advance.
Billboard pricing in Houston varies but generally falls between $3,500 and $5,500 for a four-week campaign. Prices can be higher or lower than that range depending on location, and prices are of course jacked up for OOH campaigns during the Super Bowl period.
Who’s already in Houston
Active out-of-home advertisers in the market include Budweiser, McDonald’s, Nivea, Samsung, Chevrolet, LG, Bank of America, Kodak, Pepsi, ABC, Toshiba, Coca-Cola and Snapple.
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