ESPN Live Advertising


Overview allows viewers to watch live sports footage of events that they may not be able to access on current television. The site also provides players stats, game highlights, and interviews. This allows viewers to watch their specific games and also participate in fantasy and trivia games. The site allows viewers to access this content on their mobile devices using the "on the go" application. is also commonly used in office spaces where there is no access to television. is one of the first visited and most visited sites on the Web (Rose).

ESPN has recently made a deal with Miscrosoft to create web-based live viewing through Xbox Live. This will allow Xbox Live users to stream more than 3,500 live events. Along with these wide range of events, it will also include game highlights and on-demand video clips (Shields). This will be a great demographic for advertisers to focus on. It allows for a more specific crowd than the wide range of internet users.

Reasons for Advertising

ESPN online has the 17th highest rate of traffic (mediawiki). The sites popularity can attract many people and has their ads viewed frequently by users. Due to the live footage through the web, viewers are less likely to fast forward through the advertisements as they would while watching television.

Modern-day technology allows advertisers to create new mediums of advertisements and appeal to a wider range of audiences. The executive president of ESPN, John Skipper, was quoted in an article about advertising on the site stating, ' "If you're an advertiser and you tried banners and buttons back in 1996 and '97, it didn't work and you came off the Internet, run those TV commercials here." ' (Ives).


The quality of the sound and video footage can vary depending on internet connection and type of computer picture quality. Viewers may also have trouble loading the live footage. With HD television available, many people may not want to watch videos on a smaller screen with inferior picture quality compared to standard television footage. (desksite)

One setback for advertisements is that consumers using the site can access full videos without providing any personal details and interests about themselves. This causes advertisers to generalize the viewers interests without knowing exactly whom it is actually appealing to. This causes a much broader demographic that can cause problems for advertisers.

A downfall from the video clips shown on the site, is that they are followed by 15-30 second commercials. This may set viewers back and may cause them to ignore or not remember the ad being shown. (Ives)

Costs of Advertising

Advertisements other than video clips, such as banners are calculated by "cost per click". "Cost per click" is the amount that advertisers pay per each individual click on the ad. The cost per click is $0.75-1.68 per click. These prices can increase during certain times of year (Agarwal).


Anti-spyware programs eliminate tracking cookies from internet users computers. This causes the ads on the websites to “not able to differentiate between a unique view and a repeat view.” This effects the measurement of reach because the number of various viewers exposed can’t be determined. It also effects frequency because the ads aren’t spread out evenly. This can cause one person to see the ad three times, and another person to never see the ad."(desksite) This prevents advertisers from exposing the exact number in users to the ad and also prevents advertisers from controlling how many times their ad is viewed by each user. Although reach and frequency can’t be completely measured, it can be much higher in response to lighter television viewers. It can also be higher during big events such as Bowl Games and the World Cup.

Scheduling Strategies

The Scheduling strategies focus mostly on the type of sports season that is currently being played. One of the more popular events for ESPN Live is the World Cup. In 4 days reached 1.7 million viewers. The site allows viewers to watch games lives Nationwide. Nike Soccer had a large ad campaign during the 2010 World Cup asking viewers "Who are you behind?" The ad, which then showed the results allowed viewers to participate during this Nationwide event (Spoon).


Impact of Advertising

ESPN live is popular in reaching a demographic that relates to sports fans and athletes. This allows for advertisers to appeal to consumers by selling athletic clothing and sports memorabilia. Ad campaigns such as the "Nike ad" that ran during the World Cup allowed viewers to get involved in participating in current games that are being viewed.

Audience Qualities

ESPN live consists of a 79% male audience ranging from ages 15-35. The large group of male audience helps advertisers in focusing on a specific gender demographic, but with the wide range in viewers ages, it can also be challenging in appealing to all ages. Many of the advertisements may not be relevant to are large amount of viewers.


Gatorade was one of the first companies to purchase commercial time for videos shown on (Ives). Along with Gatorade, Nike, Under Armour, United States Marine Corps, T-Mobile, and Hyundai are other popular companies that use to advertise their products.

Shields, Mike (2010, June 15). "ESPN3 Turns Xbox Into Sports Arena." Adweek. Retrieved from

Agarwal, Amit (2007, April 27). "Online Advertising Rates for Cost-Per-Click Ads (CPC). Digital Inspiration. Retrieved from

Nat, Ives (2003, Feb 21). "The Media Business:Advertising; At, new technology comes with commercials." The New York Times. Retrieved from

Spoon, Ryan (2010, July 11). "Nike Soccer's Interactive Campaign During World Cup Finals." Retrieved from

Schechner, Sam (2010, Feb 8). "ESPN Plays Up the Web." The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Desksite: A New Consumer Touchpoint. (2010). Retrieved from