Bleacher Report is heading to the Super Bowl with a handful of its fellow WarnerMedia and AT&T properties hoping to show advertisers their combined might.
Dubbed ‘B/R Gridiron House,’ Bleacher Report will be hosting a four-day activation in Miami ahead of Sunday’s (2 February) game with CNN, HLN, The Rich Eisen Show and The Dan Patrick Show.
Not only is it the first time Bleacher Report is bringing its Gridiron sub-brand to the Super Bowl, it’s also the first activation it has done in concert with other WarnerMedia companies since the AT&T acquisition. Bleacher Report chief executive officer Howard Mittman called it a way to “widen the aperture” on new ways to connect with fans.
“Putting on consumer-facing activations like this allow all of us to get a larger space, engage with more fans and explore the opportunities inherent in the strengths of some of the other [WarnerMedia] brands,” Mittman told The Drum.
DiGiorno, Wrangler, State Farm and Taco Bell are among brands working directly with Bleacher Report to sponsor the event. The other WarnerMedia properties activating sell independently against the event.
“We felt like it was a really nice way for us to create a space that allowed our other brands to come in so that we could all combine together to make something better for consumers... as well as across the many distribution [channels] that we'll employ to push that content out,” said Mittman.
The sales pitch is simple for WarnerMedia: entice a range of consumers with an open event, and attract advertisers with those consumers and a wide distribution net.
“We're all better together,” said Mittman. “So each and every day we're learning about new capabilities... and synergies that exist across this ever-widening portfolio at WarnerMedia and AT&T.”
AT&T closed on its $85bn purchase of WarnerMedia (then Time Warner) in June 2018.
Mittman said Bleacher Report’s position within WarnerMedia is to be the voice of younger millennial and Gen Z sports fans. Other than the B/R Gridiron vertical, the brand has built out B/R Football, B/R Kicks, B/R Betting and House of Highlights to drive digital engagement.
In addition to the activation in Miami, Bleacher Report is partnering with Caesars Entertainment to present two Super Bowl-themed B/R Betting shows, one on the Wednesday before the game and one on game day.
Mittman said bettors typically drive higher engagement than casual fans, so a continued legalization of sports betting would likely see a content boon for Bleacher Report.
“As [legalization] happens, I think increasingly, for most sports fans, you'll start to see less of a distinction between betting content and non-betting content,” said Mittman. “You're just going to see more content."