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Sports-Arena Advertising


Consumers come into contact with some form of media source every day, whether it is online, watching television, reading the newspaper, or even walking down the street. Media has seemingly become unavoidable. Within these varying forms of media are different, they all have one thing common, they are all vehicles for advertisements. The practice of advertising is a necessity for the growth and expansion of any business. Through advertisements business and organizations are able to communicate products and ideas to the consumer. If advertised correctly, consumers then become persuaded in supporting or purchasing the particular idea or product. This essay analyzes the genre of Sports-Arena Advertising, specifically its growth and effectiveness in the fast paced competitive consumer world.
The use of sporting arenas as a means of displaying advertisements would seem a smart investment. These advertisements are displayed in front of large crowds of potential consumers in the form of banners, posters, or signs. Advertisements found in sports-arenas can be seen everywhere, from banners to even company logos on seat covers.

Reasons Why

By displaying advertisements in such an environment consumers, willing or unwilling, will recognize these ads. In the opinion of Stotlar and Johnson this media is successful “By displaying advertising signage at sport arenas and stadia, corporations can gain access to a receptive audience and influence the sale of items that the sport spectators considered appealing.” There is a financial upside in Sports-Arena Advertising, not only for sporting arenas but for the advertisers as well. One positive consequence of televising sporting events affects those who physically advertise at the sport-arena. Mentioned earlier in the essay, advertisements within the arenas lacked the ability to attract consumers who were not in attendance. With the event televised not only does it continue to be effective to those present at the event, but it now has the ability to influence viewing audience, exponentially increasing it target range. Another positive consequence of televising sporting events is that it now allows advertisers to buy commercial spots between breaks in the game. Commercial spots are the most sought after method in sports-arena advertisement as David K. Stotlarof the University of Northern Colorado states “since sport advertisers reportedly spend approximately $5 billion a year” The corporations who own the stations broadcasting these televised sporting events also advertise themselves through digitally altering the televised picture. “Computers are used to generate and superimpose corporate signage in stadia and arenas where non-existed…Computers are used to generate and superimpose corporate signage in stadia and arenas where non-existed.”



Though this standard method of advertising is effective in sports-arenas, it limits the scope of audience solely to those present. This method stunts the advertisements ability to reach the larger spectrum of consumers, those not present at the events. However, television bridges this gap, allowing advertisements to be recognized by a larger array of consumers.

With the ever growing field of technology televised sporting events are becoming more appealing to the consumer than physically attending the sporting event. This movement away from the attendance of sporting events is a mixed blessing for those sport-arenas affected. The down side is the sharp decline of individual arenas attendance causes a decline in financial income. Some believe televised events also hurt the integrityof the sports themselves, claiming that sporting events have seemingly sold themselves to the corporate media world. Mike Doliverreports that in a recent study many fans that steer towards television are lacking financially and cannot afford the lofty ticket prices for professional sports. Advertisements within televised events have also caused problems for many families. The advertising and sponsorship of sporting teams by alcohol corporations has recently been seen as a bad influence for those children who might be watching. Researchers believe that when a child sees an alcohol advertisement in a sporting event they will develop positive expectations of drinking. Though this is of great concern for the well being of children, these advertisements receive nearly thirty million dollars from a game such as the Super Bowl.


Some of the major sports arena advertisers include
Miller Lite

Responsiveness of the Audience

It is clear the advancement of television has had a great influence in the Sports-Arena Advertising world; the success of these ads however is constantly under debate. The fact that the consumer world has a constantly varying array of focus groups, advertisers in turn must always change their approach. Though these aspects of strategy are constantly changing one aspect remains true for advertisers. This aspect relies upon the recognition method. The recognition method is based around the idea that when a consumer sees an image, in this case the advertisement, it will either have an immediate or subconscious affect. Authorities on the topic state that due to the advertising effectiveness in sport arenas the recognition method can be seen as the “traditional method.” It is the goal of the advertisers to create an advertisement that will be recognized by the consumer. Advertisements which are short and simple such as banner seen in this imagefrom Google.com displays nothing more than the products name. For example, the previous image simply states McDonalds and Coca Cola. Any informed consumer would recognize these products, and in turn, depending on their personal preferences, might be influenced to purchase the product. Advertisements of simplicity are the most commonly used in the field of Sports-Arena Advertising, as the consumer only has to focus on one thing rather than a long drawn out advertisement.
David K. Stotlar conducted an experiment to study consumer recognition of advertisements in sports-arenas. The study was conducted on a controlled group of mixed backgrounds. The group was told to watch a prerecorded basketball game from start to finish, and was not allowed to discuss anything other than the game itself. Afterwards each member was asked about the advertisements during the game. The most recognized and remembered of the advertisements was PowerAde, which was displayed on a lighted Billboard on the sideline. It was exposed 17 times on television and at an average rate of 3.9 seconds for each exposure. This study shows that advertisement are successfully recognized if brief. It also demonstrates that an advertisement which calls for attention, as PowerAde was displayed on a lighted billboard, is another technique which causes successful recognition. All other advertisements in the study appeared as painted billboards and posters.


Sports-arena advertising is an alternative media that is a vastly influential and effective medium due to the popularity of sporting world. And with the growing popularity of televised events it will continue to be a successful venture, as billions of dollars are spent each year on televised ads. This medium of advertisinghas grown from its simple beginnings when a simple static sign was the norm, to stadiums switching to more high tech advertising trends. Though with the limitless advertising possibilities that have arrived due to technology, this method has caused problems for many, but in retrospect Sports-Arena Advertising returns the favor with the massive revenue it creates.


(2009). Alcohol Advertising and Sports. Media Awareness Network.
Retrieved from http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/teaching_backgrounders/alcohol/alcohol_ads_and_sports.cfm

Boyd, L. (2008, March 20). High-tech, niche options change sports marketing.
Crain’s Detroit Business. Retrieved from

Dolliver, M. (2009). Inside the Minds of Sports Fans. Adweek.
Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/data-center/research/e3i4c3415c8611408c1fc3a7c5c45455b38

Mendes, J. How does Sports Lend Itself to Advertising on Television? [Abstract].
Retrieved from http://people.wcsu.edu/mccarneyh/acad/Mendes.html

Stotlar, D., Bennett, C. An Analysis of In-game Advertising for NCAA Basketball.
Cyber Journal of Sports Marketing. Retrieved from