Published March 2017
Turner Sports aims to share the love of the game with fans, wherever they are. So when Google approached the broadcaster with a new way to reach millions of fans through real-time video advertising, they were intrigued. Project Instant, Google’s proposed experiment, would creatively leverage DoubleClick’s programmatic advertising to help the NBA on TNT extend the reach for the NBA Season Tip-Off 2016 events. The technology would allow them to gather real-time content during games and instantly share it with fans, an exciting prospect for the sports broadcaster.
Between 2012 and 2015, total monthly video consumption in the U.S. grew from 165 hours to 177 hours.1 As viewers increasingly turn to different devices, Turner Sports sees digital and mobile as an engagement opportunity. Their digital products, such as NBA LEAGUE PASS and TNT Overtime on NBA.com, keep NBA fans immersed in the game outside of live events. With the ultimate goal of strengthening connections between fans and the sports they love, Turner Sports is always looking to experiment with technology to share the game experience in fresh ways.
Armed with real-time video from tip-off events in Oakland, Cleveland, Chicago and Portland, they launched a programmatic video advertising campaign through DoubleClick. Content was delivered as YouTube TrueView ads to 6 million unique viewers across the U.S.2 With footage highlighting fans, on-air talent, NBA athletes and behind-the-scenes footage at events, the ads brought the excitement of the game to millions, even if they weren’t tuned into the games live.
Turner Sports worked with the Google team to build out their audience lists based on previous AdWords campaigns. They then used DoubleClick algorithms to identify their most relevant audience and optimize their audience lists. Once the campaign was live, the skippable TrueView format ensured they only paid for actual views of their ads.
The campaign proved how programmatic video advertising can complement live broadcasting. The video ads let Turner Sports effectively amplify the story around the NBA Season Tip-Off events to draw more mileage from their marketing budget. They successfully drove a 17% lift in ad recall and a 7% lift in brand awareness for the NBA on TNT.3
As fans crave more immersive sports experiences beyond traditional TV, Turner Sports will continue to explore digital innovations that foster personal connections between fans and the sports teams they love.