NBA Advertisers Have $1 Billion to Spend Elsewhere

by September 05, 2011

Each year, deep-pocketed Madison Ave. advertisers spends millions—upon millions, upon millions—of loot on pro basketball. But with the lockout underway and a quick solution feeling increasingly unlikely, those folks are taking their money somewhere else. Via the NY Post: “As the NBA lockout drags on, Madison Avenue is putting some $1 billion in basketball advertising in play. That kind of money is usually devoted to pro basketball, but with the season around the corner and no deal in sight, advertisers are mapping out ‘what if’ scenarios that would shift their budgets to other sports programming and potentially new media outlets. ‘I would say if you’re an NBA advertiser, then things don’t look good,’ said Marc Morse, senior vice president of national broadcast at ad shop R.J. Palmer. ‘I’m hearing NBA advertisers are reaching out to NFL and to college basketball,’ Morse said. While the possibility of losing NFL games to a lockout caused widespread panic this year before players and owners hammered out a deal, advertisers said the NBA should be easier to replace because its season is spread out over a longer period of time. Management locked out the players as of July 1 when the league’s collective bargaining agreement expired. Already making replacement pitches are male-targeted cable networks such as Viacom’s Spike and Comedy Central and News Corp’s FX. (News Corp. also owns The Post.) ‘The big winners would be the cable guys that skew male,’ said Morse, noting that basketball tends to draw men between the ages of 18 and 34, a younger audience than pro football.”