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Advertisers spent over $3bn on TV ads during playoff across major US sports

By Andrew Blustein, Reporter

January 18, 2019 | 2 min read

Companies doled out $3bn in TV ad spend during the 2018 playoff games across all four major US sports, with the National Football League (NFL) raking in 62% of the spend, according to research from MediaRadar.

Advertisers spent most during the NFL playoffs

Advertisers spent most during the NFL playoffs

Verizon spent the most among the 725-plus companies that advertised in at least one of the league's playoff games. It was the highest spender in the NFL and Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs.

Over 50% of total ad spend came from 23 companies, including General Motors, Anueser-Busch and AT&T.

Despite controversy surrounding the league and having only 11 playoff games, the NFL saw a 90% renewal rate. The MLB, National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) all had renewal rates between 55 and 65%.

The NBA saw a 9% decrease in the number of companies advertising during its 92 playoff games. However, it did attract the most amount of advertisers among the leagues, and over 125 companies ran ads solely during NBA playoff games.

“Apparel and accessories advertisers spent more advertising during the NBA playoffs than all three other playoffs combined,” said MediaRadar chief executive officer Todd Krizelman. “Out of the major sports, we see that this category typically seeks to align itself with the NBA, as the league and its players are most associated with fashion compared to the three other sports.”

Playoffs 2018 ad spend

The NBA drew 24% of total ad spend, and the MLB brought in 10% over its 33 games. The NHL earned just 4% of the ad spend across its 84 playoff games.

NHL Major League Baseball (MLB) Advertising

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