The NBC Sports Group has filled its ad sales chief role with Dan Lovinger after Seth Winter stepped down last month.
After presiding over what NBC Sports called the biggest media event in U.S. history, Seth Winter is stepping down next month as NBC Sports Group ad sales chief.
No matter what the final medal count looks like at the 2016 Summer Olympics, NBCUniversal is going to be Rio's big winner.
It might not be the Powerball jackpot, but NBC has been raking in the money for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Seven months before the opening ceremony, NBC Sports' ad sales chief Seth Winter said the network is ahead of where it was at this time four years ago before the London games. But it wasn't always looking that way.
It's official, and not a moment too soon: NBC has sold every single spot in the Super Bowl, although some pre-game spots are still up for grabs, according to Seth Winter, evp of ad sales for NBCUniversal's news and sports groups.
While the conjunctivitis-plagued Bob Costas may not look back fondly on the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sochi’s stellar ratings performance has left NBC’s ad sales team in the pink.
The sugar rush of last year’s Summer Olympics and political spend has given way to the inevitable crash, as third-quarter advertising expenditures were down significantly from Q3 2012.
Just three weeks after reorganizing its ad sales staff under five direct reports to Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal has begun laying off staffers. At the time of the original announcement, NBCU said in no uncertain terms that no one in the sales organization would be leaving the company; that said, a source chose to characterize today’s layoffs as “unforeseen.”
With exactly one month to go before the Opening Ceremonies of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, NBC is on track to book nearly $1 billion in ad sales revenue for the 17-day event.
Like the return of perennial AFC powers the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots to the NFL postseason, there’s nothing inherently surprising about NBC selling out its available Super Bowl inventory well before the opening kickoff. What’s unusual this time around is that the network looks to have outpaced Fox’s record automotive haul of a year ago.According to Seth Winter, svp of sales and marketing for NBC Sports, the last of the 35 minutes of in-game ad slots for Super Bowl XLVI was sold shortly after Thanksgiving. On average, sponsors ponied up $3.5 million per 30-second spot, although at least one late entry paid as much as $4 million.This year’s game is scheduled to take place in Indianapolis on Sunday, Feb. 5.Even before the 2011-12 National Football League season kicked off on Sept. 8, NBC was down to a mere handful of units. The average spot cost represents an increase of 17 percent from the $3 million price Fox commanded for its Super Bowl XLV broadcast. Moreover, NBC’s pricing represents a 57 percent hike from 2002 when Fox sold units in the Pats-St. Louis Rams nail-biter for some $2.2 million a pop.Winter told Adweek that automotive investment in the Super Bowl has surpassed even last year’s record turnout when no fewer than 20 car ads ran during the course of the game. “I do believe the auto category will prove to be even more prolific this year than in any other prior year,” Winter said. “We’re also seeing more long-form in-game advertising than ever before . . . and the auto category has taken that art form to new heights.”Among the automakers driving up to the big game are returning sponsors General Motors (five spots), Hyundai and Volkswagen, the latter of which will air a 60-second spot in the third quarter. Adweek named the Deutsch/Los Angeles spot for the Volkswagen Passat (“The Force”) the best commercial of 2011.VW’s Audi unit is in for a spot, while Toyota has committed to a pair of ads for its 2012 Camry. Chevrolet is planning a consumer-generated spot. After making a big debut in last year’s game, Mercedes-Benz has elected to stay on the sidelines. Other automakers are up in the air. Featured in three in-game spots during Super Bowl XLV, BMW has yet to indicate whether it will suit up for next month’s big event. Chrysler is also a question mark.Although pricing is more or less uniform, your mileage will vary. “Certainly, pod position is very important, and so an ‘A’ position is perhaps more valuable,” Winter said. “But also, not unlike every other media company that has brought the Super Bowl to market, we look for added investment across our sports portfolio.”In other words, a package buy across the Super Bowl and the 2012 London Summer Olympics is likely to earn a client favorable rates and/or positions within a given commercial pod.Among the non-auto marketers on the roster is Anheuser-Busch, which boasts the official beer of the NFL in Bud Light. The brewer is in for four-and-a-half minutes of airtime. Expect at least one spot in support of the new beverage Bud Light Platinum, a high-octane, low-calorie grog that will hit shelves on Jan. 30. Usual suspects Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are also back, as are Mars Inc.’s M&Ms, Best Buy, CareerBuilder and GoDaddy.com.Winter said studio dollars are “consistent with prior years, although they may be a little lighter.” Last year, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures invested in five in-game spots, of which four aired in the second quarter. Walt Disney bought a third-quarter spot to promote the latest chapter in its Pirates of the Caribbean saga, while a pair of Universal Pictures titles were teased in the first quarter.Thus far, the studios have been characteristically hush-hush about their Super Bowl plans, but a few upcoming releases look like sure bets. Trailers for superhero movies tend to play well in the context of the Super Bowl; among the cape-and-cowl flicks slated for the spring and summer are Joss Weldon’s The Avengers (Walt Disney/Marvel, May 4), The Amazing Spider-Man (Columbia/Marvel, July 3) and The Dark Knight Rises (Warner Bros., July 20).Despite having signed off on all available in-game spots, NBC is in a position to accommodate a latecomer or two, Winter said. Two sponsors who made early commitments are looking to back out, and for the right price, NBC would be happy to book replacements.