5 Brand Values of College Football

5 Brand Values of College Football

The Wall Street Journal has two major stories on college football today.

The stories talk about the alliance between school funding for universities and holding onto viewers for the networks.

The pieces captured my attention because I am an Ohio State Buckeye fan who lives in Chicago where Notre Dame going to the championship game is the talk of the town, at least amongst Domers.

Coverage talks about advertisers like General Motors and AFLAC and their increased budgets on college football (24% and 47% over the years). GM did this while cutting its overall spending by 16% according to media firm Kantar.  Its college football buy represents 9% of the brand’s ad spending.

Many experts in both and network programming laud the value of live sports as even commercials are viewed during the broadcast.

In both camps, there is concern about the long-term viability of rights fees and audiences. However, I have contended for years that college football is one of the most powerful brands.

It encompasses these five important brand values:

  • Affinity— college football is the ultimate “feel-good” experience whether it stands in front of the TV or tailgating outside the stadium. If you haven’t seen it, you would be amazed to see how many people are flying from O’Hare or Hartsfield in Atlanta to weekly Big Ten or SEC games.
  • Allure — a college game, especially when it features the rivalry, creates that “have to be there” mentality. Scarcity of tickets as in the upcoming Notre Dame – Alabama national championship game only enhances the allure.
  • Association – – it’s fulfilling and still amusing that people congratulate fans when their teams win, yet they have nothing to do with it other than hoisting a cold one when their team scores.
  • All In – while the Journal story proclaims that college football attracts the enviable 18 to 34-year-old male audience, I am regularly impressed with how many young women are into the sport.
  • Addition – AFLAC and GM expand media buys to entertain customers and engage college fans through product sampling and customer entertainment. AFLAC is a partner with the Heisman Trophy. GM tours cars to college games for fans to test drive.

So, how would you like to have those values working for your brand? And how do you think you could apply them?

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