SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: April 7, 2022

Episode Summary

MLB opens with new league-level sponsors, The Masters big three are 99% of ad spend on CBS and F1 announces a renewal with Twitter.

Episode Transcription

The weather forecast is improving and the sun should be out by mid morning in Augusta, Georgia for the first round of the Masters. Coverage begins at 8:00 AM Eastern on ESPN+ and picks up at 3:00 PM on ESPN, not to mention several other viewing options on the Masters website. And if you need another reason to take off from work, it's opening day in Major League Baseball, two games, the Red Sox at the Yankees in Seattle at Minnesota have already been postponed by weather but there's still seven games on the schedule. First pitch is 2:20 PM Eastern from Wrigley Field, where the Cubs host the Brewers, also defending World Series champion, Atlanta, hosts Cincinnati at 8:00 PM Eastern on ESPN2.

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 7th and this is your SBJ Morning Buzzcast. I'm David Albright, filling in for Abe Madkour.

MLB opens the 2022 regular season with brands new to the league, like Adobe, Corona and Capital One, reports our David Broughton. Cue Healthcare and Dairy Queen have also come aboard this season, while Bank of America and Google Search are among those that are out. Adobe will tout its Illustrator and their new Creative Cloud Express among other products. Additionally, Draft Kings, the league's official daily fantasy site since 2013, added sports betting to its partnership status. Overall, a dozen of the leagues partners have fewer than three seasoned under their belts. The soft drink category is still vacant after Coca-Cola dropped its MLB deal in 2020 after just three seasons, the insurance and hotel categories are also in play. The league sponsor with the longest tenure is Anheuser-Busch, which has been affiliated with MLB since 1980.

BMW is making the start of the baseball season by rolling out two new 30 second spots featuring its new BMW iX, a fully electric SUV and four MLB all stars. The creative campaign, which will run throughout the 2022 season was developed in partnership with home team sports division of Playfly Sports. The commercials are set to debut today. They feature New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, LA Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler and Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies, carpooling as they figure out how they could do more together. This is the fifth consecutive year BMW has used four MLB players in a baseball focused campaign. Playfly Sports has worked closely with BMW over each of those five years. The ads produced by Playfly's in house agency style shop, Playfly Creates will run exclusively during MLB game broadcasts, airing on all US regional sports networks.

Continuing on the sponsorship front, IBM, AT&T and Mercedes-Benz make up the exclusive sponsor list at Augusta National Golf Club, as the three blue chip brands, each continue their long association with the Masters. That's according to our David Broughton. Each brand has been aligned with the event for more than a decade. Of note, the trio have made up 99% of the advertising spend on CBS' telecast during each of the three most recent tournaments, according to data. The spots make up the majority of the weekend's exposure for the brands as they are not permitted have signage on the property that could be seen by TV viewers. 19 other brands combined to air 70 commercials last year, only one, a 30 second spot by Calm, came during primetime.

If you missed this one from after the bell yesterday, the NFL is the biggest investor in Fanatics' most recent funding round last month, kicking in the total of $320 million. More than half of Fanatics' $1.5 billion in funding came from leagues, the NFL, MLB and NHL players' associations. MLBPA and NFLPA, contributed between 75 and 100 million and team owners. After the latest round of financing, Fanatics is valued at more than $27 billion. In addition to its commerce business that works with the top teams in businesses, Fanatics also holds the collectible and trading card rights to MLB, MLBPA, NBA, NBPA and NFLPA. It also runs a sports betting and high gaming division, an NFT company and owns 50% of Lids. Fanatics has been looking to expand into ticketing and media rights as well.

F1 is keeping its foot on the accelerator in terms of its content partnership with Twitter, announcing a multi-year renewal, ahead of the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday. The renewal will bring F1 fans on Twitter more video clips during race weekends, featuring archive footage, interviews, live coverage and moments spotlighting drivers. Advertisers can also tap premium pre-roll video option Twitter Amplify and use the most engaging content from the race circuit in their branded pre-roll video. There were more than 70 million tweets worldwide in 2021 related F1. That's up 63% from 2020 and the @f1 handle, tallies over 7.5 million followers. Twitter said that 65% of the audience tweeting about F1 are under 35 years of age, adding that two million women joined the F1 conversation on the social network last year.

Finally, a programming note, if you haven't already, mark May 18th for the Sports Business Awards, the 2022 edition. Ceremony will be back live and in person at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. For more information on the program and how to attend, go to the events page on That's your SBJ Morning Buzzcast for Thursday. I hope everyone has a great day and we'll see you back here tomorrow morning.