There’s a common belief that sports have the power to change the world. Whether it’s a walk-off homerun that wins the game, a last-minute goal as the whistle sounds, a photo finish as the checkered flag waves or a hole in one, people love the thrill of these unforgettable moments, and they long to share them with close friends, relatives or even a perfect stranger. Watching sports on linear television—especially away from home—gives audiences the opportunity to connect with each other when they can’t be at the ballpark.

where watchedTo better understand the linear TV-viewing habits of sport fans when they’re away from the comfort of their couches, Nielsen conducted a summer survey among persons 18 and older that provides directional insights into key areas of interest for advertisers: location, co-viewing habits, attention and demographic composition.

While we’ve always known that people view linear TV content outside of the home, precise viewing locations have always been elusive. With insight from our recent survey, we now know exactly where people are viewing sports when they’re away from their homes. The survey covered restaurants/bars, other peoples’ homes, the office, the gym, in transit (permanent screens on a bus), hotel rooms, the airport and other locations.
The data supports the notion that restaurants/bars remain one of the most popular out-of-home (OOH) locations, as 26% of respondents said that they only watched OOH sports at a restaurant/bar. However, viewing in other places is a big draw for OOH sports content. Of the remaining 74%, 40% said that they watch in both restaurants/bars and elsewhere and 34% only viewed in other places. Nevertheless, restaurants/bars were the highest single viewing location from all respondents.

While the trends for OOH location viewing are similar among persons 18-34 and persons 35+, 83% of younger viewers (18-34) said they watched sports content outside of the home somewhere other than at a restaurant/bar in the past week. The second-highest option was someone else’s home at 49%, followed by work at 35% and the gym at 38%.

sports viewing

In line with what we see from Nielsen’s National Out-of-Home Measurement service, the analysis highlights that 18-34-year-olds accounted for 53% of OOH viewers who watched summer sports. Interestingly, over half (55%) of the adults 18-34 said that they watched with other people, with a third of them watching with two other adults. Among the summer sports measured, we see that on average, females preferred to watch OOH content with a larger group than males (female group size 3.5 vs. male group size 3.3).
But since viewing content away from home often involves settings that are subject to loud conversations, distractions and other activity, it’s a fair question to ask if viewers are listening to the content they’re watching. In short, they are engaged with the advertising as well as the game. The survey found that up to 66% of OOH viewers were able to listen to the entire event they watched on linear TV. In the end, while consumers who view sports content outside of the home are engaged in other activities as they watch, they are very much listening to what’s on the screen.

Overall, sports content is a big draw for younger viewers, with Generation Z and Millennials driving nearly 45% of sports OOH viewing. On average, the survey found that fans that tuned in to watch the sports surveyed on linear TV this summer skewed male, at 62%, had an average age of 38, and live in homes with an average household income of $67,000. Similarly, OOH viewers of key major summer sports were predominantly male with an average age range between 35 and 40 years of age; however, their household income was slightly higher, as it ranged from $64,000 to $76,000.
While only a lucky few can experience live sports in all of its glory, the TV glass is a great conduit for audiences to watch their favorite team or player in a room full of fans as passionate and crazy as they are. Over the past couple of years, the media and advertising industry has made great strides to quantify OOH viewership, especially for sports content. And today, understanding the location of where OOH viewing is taking place is another step in the journey to measure all the occasions consumers are watching TV and provide advertisers with a much clearer picture of a program’s true total audience.


October Client News

IN national guardThe Indiana National Guard is a joint-force organization with 65 Army National Guard installations around the state, and facilities at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center. Additionally, there are two Air Wings, the 181st Intelligence Wing based in Terre Haute, and the 122nd Fighter Wing based in Fort Wayne.

As of July 2016, the combined force numbers are approximately 13,500. The headquarters is located at Stout Field on the west side of Indianapolis. The sitting Adjutant General is Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, who was appointed to the position on May 30, 2015.

IN national guard 2Federal Mission: The Indiana Army and Air National Guard are reserve components of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force. During times of national emergency, National Guard members may be called into active federal service by the President of the United States.

State Mission: During peace times, the National Guard is commanded by the governor. In it’s “state” role, the National Guard assists local law enforcement agencies during emergencies at the direction of the governor. The distribution of soldiers, equipment and facilities across the state allows the National Guard to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies statewide.

The National Guard’s dual federal-state mission is unique to the U.S. military and sets the National Guard apart from any other reserve component.

Native Advertising vs. Sponsored Content: What’s the Difference?

Sponsored content and native advertising are forms of paid media strategies that fit the form and function of the surrounding editorial content on a webpage. It looks “native” to the page.  However, the main difference is that native advertising is more like a traditional ad and sponsored content is more like a media placement.

Native ads contain a headline and description to encourage users to click on the link. This leads to an article on a brand’s website or to other sponsored content.

Sponsored content is a piece of brand journalism that lives on a publisher’s website. It’s usually written by the publisher’s staff so the article matches the tone and voice of rest of their content.

Each type serves a different purpose and will be most effective depending on what your brand hopes to achieve. In this post, we expand on these definitions, explain when to use native ads and sponsored content, and show what they look like.

Native advertising

A native ad lives on a webpage and links to either sponsored, owned or earned media — really, anything the brand wants people to read.

Once you click on the ad, it will likely send you to a lightly branded article. You’ll usually see a couple brand mentions as well as a CTA. The most effective types of native ads are those that provide real, actionable value for the reader.

What does it look like?

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) offers a list of six types of native ad formats that satisfy the definition. These forms include:
• In-feed ads (presented on publishing websites as well as social platforms)
• Paid search ads (the ads at the top of your a search platform)
• Recommendation widgets (Outbrain, Taboola, StackAdapt, etc.)
• Promoted listings (on shopping websites such as Amazon or Etsy)
• In-ad with native element units (Appssavvy, Martini Media, EA, etc.)
• Custom/”can’t be contained” (Hearts, Flipboard, Tumblr, etc.)
In all of these cases, the ad looks like its surrounding content. If you’re shopping for shoes on Amazon, you may see a promoted post on the side or underneath the main content that looks like the other shoe listings. These posts are labeled as an advertisement. These Amazon ads make it easier for brands to get attention for their products in a spot where users intentionally go to make a purchase.
In-feed units and recommendation widgets will only include a snippet of copy to grab a reader’s attention which usually consists of a headline and description with a single photo. Ideally, your native ads should match the user’s experience on that page including the fonts, colors and functions.

Why would you use native advertising?

Native ads are used to build credibility and trust with consumers, satisfying brands’ long-term goals. According to Business Insider, native ads (typically sold on a pay-per-click-basis) will account for 74 percent of all ad revenue by 2021.

Sharethrough found that readers spend just as much time viewing native ads as they do editorial content. Native ads were also found to increases brand lift by as much as 82 percent. You can measure views, clicks and post-click engagement on a native ad, which allows you to analyze campaigns and conduct A/B testing to choose the best performer.
Unlike traditional display ads, native ads have the potential of a long shelf life. Because the content is hosted on a webpage (such as on your blog) you may continue seeing organic traffic from social media shares even once the native ad campaign is complete.

Sponsored content

Sponsored content is considered a type of native advertising. It also fits the form and function of its host.

The difference is that it’s not an ad. It’s a longer-form piece of brand-sponsored content such as an article or video that lives on a media publisher’s site.

It tells a full story and is written and produced to be as engaging as possible, encouraging an audience to spend a long time with the content. Like native ads, the most successful sponsored content provides useful value to readers, either by educating or entertaining.
As a marketer, you can direct the message and even create the copy and doesn’t require the involvement of another platform. Some publishers have teams dedicated to creating sponsored content for their brand partnerships.

Typically, sponsored content is less restrictive than native advertising and publishers give brands leeway to be creative and engaging—as long as the post is cleared marked as “sponsored” or “promoted.” This also means that brands can mention a product or service and include a call to action.

What does it look like?

Sponsored content can be anything from an article to video to a listicle, as long as it looks like a native part of the publisher website.

You’ll see collaborations between brands and publishers on media sites like BuzzFeed, Forbes, the New York Times, Huffington Post, etc. These major publications have developed content studios dedicated to create and host sponsored content.
Partnering with a studio, however, is rather spendy. BuzzFeed charges around $100,000 for a piece of sponsored content. Brandpoint’s unique and expansive publisher network gives you access to a massive audience for a small fraction of the cost.
Most print publications also have sections dedicated to sponsored content. The articles will include similar elements used throughout the publication, such as using the same font and colors, but may include a gray background or another element to set it apart as sponsored.

Why would you use sponsored content?

By publishing a helpful article, a brand positions themselves as an expert, or a major storytelling voice, in their field. The goal is to establish trust with customers so they can rely on a company’s information and products.

Businesses are likely to see a sales jump once a sponsored post is published. This is considered a short-term benefit according to, but there’s also long-term brand awareness and nurturing at play. Consumers may discover that they enjoy your brand’s content. Though they may not regularly purchase your products, they may continue to follow your posts and engage with your brand.

Examples of sponsored content:

The Renewal Project: Partnership between Allstate and The Atlantic
Allstate insurance created a collection of stories on a separate website ( to “highlight, support, and celebrate ordinary people creating extraordinary community renewal.” The website is just one in a series of other “renewal” campaigns, created by Atlantic Media Strategies, the studio for The Atlantic.
Cocaine Economics: Partnership between Netflix and The Wall Street Journal
To promote new television show “Narcos,” Netflix partnered with the advertising department of The Wall Street Journal to create a standalone piece digging deep in the show’s central issue — violence among cocaine traffickers. The content is highly engaging due to illustrations, interactive animations, pull quotes and video clips of the show.

Can You Guess Which Animal Fact We Made Up?: Partnership between Wendy’s and BuzzFeed

Wendy’s is a brand publisher on BuzzFeed. But their content usually doesn’t have much to do with their food. Rather, they post entertaining content to attract readers. In this case, Wendy’s takes an interactive approach with a quiz to test readers’ animal knowledge. To make a connection to their brand, Wendy’s states at the bottom of the page: “Some of these facts seem impossible to believe. Just like Wendy’s adding the Double Stack™ as an option in the 4 for $4** for a limited time.”

Compare and Contrast

In today’s marketing landscape, paid media is a necessary strategy to reach your target audience and achieve inbound marketing goals.

Both sponsored content and native ads are tactics that help get your content seen and establish greater brand authority and longevity, but are very different in form and purpose.


Are You Ready For The Future of Marketing?

Internet Will Catch Up To Television

Research shows that internet will catch up to television in 2019 in terms of hours watched. According to the study, people will spend 2.6 hours a day online and 2.7 hours a day watching the tube in 2019. 45 minutes of an average person’s internet time will be spent watching mobile video.
Because of this, we that predict companies will spend less money on television ads and more money on web video, social media, and web ads in the New Year. Will your company do the same?

Live Video Will Keep Growing

It’s no secret that YouTube, Facebook and Instagram’s live video services made waves in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In fact, in 2016 more than 80% of internet users watched more live video than the year prior—likely due to the rise of more modern streaming services.
Don’t let your brand be late to the live video bandwagon. 67% of live viewers say they are more likely to purchase a concert ticket to see a band or attend an event if they’ve seen a live stream of a similar event online.
Further, 45% of live audiences would pay to see a favorite athlete, team, or performer on an online stream. Check out Facebook’s recent Facebook Live infographic for more information on live video’s growth.

Video (And Video Ads) Will Keep Growing, Too

Like live video, traditional video will keep growing too. Studies expect video to account for a whopping 85% of total internet traffic by 2019. Further, 54% of internet users already watch video on a social media platform monthly, and that number will only grow over the coming years.
Video ads are on the rise too. 65% of ad impressions on Instagram were the result of video content, and we’re expecting that number to grow even further.
Marketers should consider adding video for their 2019 social media strategy. Some ways of doing this are by running video ads on YouTube and Instagram, creating video content in-house, or partnering with an influencer for paid product placement or endorsement in their videos.

The Rise of The Social CEO

In an era of fake news, it’s important for CEOs and other top executives to be social. This boosts your company’s reputation, helps build trust with your users, and even makes your company more appealing to job applicants.
According to data from OkToPost, in 2016 only 40% of CEOs were active on social media. Of those users, 70% only used LinkedIn. However, we expect this number to grow as distrust in the media continues, making people want to hear news right from the source.
There are a number of ways that a CEOs can have his or her voice heard. A few of the best ways are by posting to the company blog, writing on Medium, Tweeting from a personal account, or writing blog posts on LinkedIn.

Future Proof Yourself!

And there you have it: digital marketing trends that will dominate 2019. Even though 2019 is nearly half a year away, stay ahead of the game and use these tips to future proof your company against the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.