Two basketball players on a court with an illustration of a line graph coming off the court

One-upping the competition with live sports on Connected TV

Live sports are the ultimate form of unscripted drama, where every moment offers a chance to witness something extraordinary. Fans gather in packed stadiums, or huddle around televisions with loved ones, to experience a sense of community and share the excitement. For decades, sports have served as a tether that keeps viewers firmly anchored to their cable subscriptions, but this paradigm is shifting as streaming technology continues to evolve and gain mainstream acceptance. The era of cord-cutting in live sports is upon us, and fans are leading the charge. 

This shift has not gone unnoticed by advertisers. Not only has Connected TV (CTV) become an important investment for marketers looking to capture incremental viewers on top of linear TV, but it also provides those marketers with incremental capabilities. That includes the ability to target first- and third-party audiences, control frequency across devices, and measure business results in real time. As sports fans and tech enthusiasts, we take this data-driven approach with our own campaigns, serving ads to members of the advertising community programmatically on premium CTV inventory. 

Speaking of “serving” ads…

Today, many of the world’s top athletes are leveraging data to improve their performance. Novak Djokovic, arguably the best tennis player of all time, has been leveraging data for years to get an edge over his competition. Strategy coach Craig O’Shannessy helps Djokovic analyze trends and focus energy where it will matter most. In his own words, “It’s about finding, out of 100 points, the 10 or 15 that matter the most.”1

Just as the world’s top teams and athletes use data to optimize their performance, our marketing team also utilizes data to drive results for our own KPIs. In one of our recent brand campaigns promoting CTV as a channel, we decided to target our key audiences while they streamed NCAA’s March Madness, the Winter Olympics, the NHL, and the MLB. By leveraging real-time performance insights, we were able to create a clear picture of where we needed to focus our efforts; for example, we analyzed which geos were driving toward our goals most efficiently. We then measured results through brand lift studies, as well as uncovered additional insights through our path-to-conversion report. We were happy to find a 7.1 percent lift in favorability, 89 percent conversion lift, and a 39 percent increase in site visits when users saw both a CTV and a display ad.

These results are not limited to our own campaigns — our clients are benefiting too. In a recent third-party study, we found that our clients’ CTV campaigns on our platform outperform industry benchmarks in several key areas. The analysis, conducted by CX platform DISQO's industry-leading Brand Lift and Outcomes Lift solutions, highlights the strength of our marketing strategies.

“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important. ”

Bobby Knight
Basketball Coach

Just as a coach would design a training program tailored to the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, closely monitoring progress, it is important to strategically invest resources in our advertising partners to yield the best results for your brand.

However, as the world of advertising continues to evolve, with costs per mille (CPMs) and other financial considerations influencing where you might invest your budget, many marketers are being lured toward cheap CPMs, a trap that can rob you of a wealth of data and optimizations. It’s never been easier to align your investments directly with what matters most: your online and offline sales. You can use data to:

  • Compare publisher performance with custom metrics.
  • Test new audiences and screens, and shift easily to what works best.
  • Drive growth for your business.

DISQO’s observed results, then, were not coincidental; they were likely the result of deliberate investments.

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough. ”

Mario Andretti
Race Car Driver

To give you ideas on how you can adapt your live sports strategies to better engage audiences and capture value in the rapidly evolving world of CTV, we spoke with several of our in-house CTV experts, who offered three main observations.

  1. Use data to find sports fans who have cut the cord. 
    By leveraging programmatic advertising, you can work toward finding sports fans that are cord-cutters or cord-nevers. This can help you maximize reach when your audience decides to stream the big game.
  2. Leverage real-time measurement to determine the impact of live sports on your KPIs.  
    Data-driven advertising can open a universe of opportunities for you to drive results. When you lean into programmatic, you can manage audience overlap across publishers and platforms, better understand incremental reach on top of linear TV, and measure ROI against online and offline sales. Programmatic can provide the infrastructure for brands to understand where they are receiving the most value.  
  3. Improve your brand experience.    
    Sporting events present many opportunities for you to reach your audience over the course of a game, but you should factor in oversaturation and ad fatigue. To this end, connecting your sports buys with your other buys can help you control how often your ad shows up — avoiding cringey ad experiences and favoring incremental reach.   

So, what’s all this mean for me?  

This shift toward streaming in the live sports landscape offers marketers another opportunity to explore and harness the power of data-driven advertising. Programmatic purchasing of CTV inventory can allow you to speak directly to your audiences that are no longer watching sports on linear TV, while providing more data to make value-based decisions and the controls to create a better experience for all parties involved: the advertiser, the consumer, and the publisher.   

Contact us today to learn how we can help you leverage data to create personalized and impactful campaigns on top-performing CTV inventory for live sports and beyond. Don’t miss this opportunity to gather insights that can help you better reach your target audience.