The Olympics are always a huge event when it comes to advertising. While it is spread out over 18 days, it can rival other major events like the Super Bowl in terms of how much the networks (NBC) are able to make. They can also provide good insights into the overall health of the marketing world.
This year, the Olympics are proving to be even more popular than experts expected, which has given NBC the opportunity to dip into their ‘bonus’ inventory of ads that they had available. When originally selling ad spots for the sporting events, NBC held back some potential slots because they weren’t sure if they would sell or not, but that is not the case any longer.
NBC’s Broadcasting & Sports Chairman, Mark Lazarus, commented, “We are on a pace right now where the inventory we held aside for potential under-delivery of our estimates is not going to be needed.” So far this is adding ‘a few million dollars’ worth of ad inventory, which is going to many advertisers who had smaller budgets, but wanted to get into the games none the less. In addition, some advertisers that didn’t want to commit to buying until they knew the popularity of the games are now getting involved.
In the interview, NBC also said, “We still have the ability to go back into the market and sell more. If you want to sell your product in the next two weeks, we are the window to consumers.” Of course, many brands will look to jump into, or expand their existing presence, in these popular games.
Bringing in these new advertisers, and being able to sell the extra space, is certainly a great signal not just of the popularity of the Olympics, but of the strength of the marketing industry as a whole.