Sports fans are among radio’s most passionate and responsive listeners.  They live-and-die with every play and then talk about it, around-the-clock, until the next game.  Here’s a critical list of Do’s and Don’ts to get the most out of Sports Radio Advertising.

  1. IN-GAME BROADCASTS ARE GREAT FOR BRANDING, LOUSY FOR DIRECT RESPONSE – Who wants to stop listening to the game to make a phone call for more information about a product or service? Save your DR buys for out-of-game placements if you’re tracking ROI.
  2. SPORTS TALK HOSTS CAN BE GREAT SPOKESPERSONS – To Sports Talk listeners, these guys are their real life pals who just happen to know everything about sports. Who better to pitch your product or service?
  3. SPORTS RADIO IS A GREAT PLACE TO REACH MEN – A typical Sports Radio station has a 75%-95% male audience base. It’s the best AM/FM format to reach Men with little waste outside of gender.
  4. PROMOTIONS ABOUND – Whether it’s personality appearances at your retail location, online website exposure or a chance to tie-in to a station’s wing eating contest, Sports Radio stations always have ways to promote your brand above-and-beyond conventional advertising. Challenge your sales rep to get creative with something that suits your needs.
  5. KEEP YOUR COPY FRESH – Sports fanatics are typically focused on two things; the last game and the next game. Find ways to keep your copy topical and timely to tap into their “in the moment” mindset.
  6. FINAL SCORES ARE YOUR FRIEND – You may not be able to afford time during the actual games, but you can offer 10% off for every touchdown scored on Sunday by the “silver and blue.” Generic wording and clever offers can drive your weekly sales.
  7. YOU CAN SLAP YOUR NAME ON ANYTHING – For the right price, your brand can sponsor the Your Brand Scoreboard or the Your Brand Traffic Report or the Your Brand Weekly Picks, live from the Your Brand Studios. It’ll cost you, but you can marry your brand to daily programming and drawf the exposure your competition is getting.
  8. LOCAL HEROES SELL – Sure you can pay 50 grand to have the big home run hitter promote your brand, but the underdog second-string catcher who hit the double that put you in the playoffs in ’07 will probably pack the same punch at a fraction of the cost. Look for fan favorites like Vince Papale, the 30-year old walk-on who landed a job with the Philadelphia Eagles and had a Disney film (“Invincible”) made about his incredible story.
  9. MAKE A BET WHERE EVERYONE WINS – Let on-air DJs or two brand spokespeople argue about the outcome of an upcoming game. Then, set the stakes.  If the blue team wins, everyone gets 25% off on Monday.  If the red team wins, everyone gets a free “X” when they buy “Y.”  Everyone’s got a rooting interest and listeners win big!
  10. IN-STORE APPEARANCES CAN DRAW TRAFFIC – Take a Sports Talk DJ and add a local sports celeb. Bring them to your retail location and call crowd control.  Sports heroes have long shelf lives.  If you’re targeting men or fathers and sons, athletes can be a traffic magnet.

These are just a handful of guidelines and idea-starters to elevate your brand to MVP.  I’m sure my radio friends will be suggesting more in the comments section below.