If you’re looking to catch President Obama’s attention and happen to have a few thousand dollars sitting around, try advertising on ESPN.
The President has never been shy about his love of sports. According to Politico, Obama is such a big sports fan that ESPN is often the channel of choice for White House TVs. Media strategists have taken note of this, and as a result they’re actively advising clients who want to grab the President’s attention to buy ad-time on the immensely popular sports network.
Though companies have advertised products on ESPN for years, it is only recently that the network has been used as a platform for policy-related ads. Microsoft ran ads on the network criticizing Google’s business practices. Conveniently, the ads were aired just as federal investigators were considering taking action against Google over competition issues.
Microsoft isn’t the only company to air issue-related ads on ESPN. The American Petroleum Institute and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has done so as well.
The move to advertise on ESPN makes perfect sense. ESPN is one of the few remaining network giants in the country. Cable television has divided news viewers among an entire group of channels. ESPN, on the other hand, remains the sole giant in the sports news market. On top of that, ESPN’s non-politically-based viewership means smart advertising can make an impact on voters from a wide range of ideological backgrounds.
As is the case with President Obama, market research indicates that some pretty important people are watching ESPN. Many lawmakers are known sports fans as well. Senators and House Representatives frequently log on to Twitter and Facebook to post about their teams latest wins or losses. Since sports viewers are inseparably connected to ESPN, the network is a great way to grab the attention of legislators who possess the ability to influence public policy in a major way.