U.S. Open Golf Sponsors Dominated Spending on New Ad Placement Last Week

Advertisers spent $35 million on placement for new ads during the tournament.

American Express aired three new ads during the U.S. Open.

The U.S. Open golf championship truly drove ad spending on new broadcast spots last week.

Not only was the broadcast the top destination for new ads, but Kantar Media’s list of the top five spenders on national broadcast placement for new creative includes four U.S. Open sponsors and the USGA, which stages the tournament.

Spending on national broadcast placement for new ads was down last week, falling to around $97 million compared with $109 million the week before, according to Kantar Media. The decrease can be attributed at least in part to the previous week’s inflated numbers due to the cost of advertising during the NBA Finals. But they do represent a $5 million increase from the $92 million spent the week before that.

Overall, spending on broadcast placement increased for the second consecutive week, with advertisers spending nearly $908 million, compared with around $782 million the previous week.

The U.S. Open was easily the top program for spending on new creative, with advertisers devoting roughly $35 million to placement during the tournament, around 36 percent of overall expenditures for placement of new creative.

The top spender was American Express, a USGA partner since 2006, which spent nearly $6.4 million on broadcast placement for new creative, including $5.6 million, or 88 percent of its total, on placement for three new ads airing during the U.S. Open: $3.4 million for a pair of spots promoting the American Express Business Platinum Card and $2.2 million on one devoted to American Express Open for small businesses. The $6.4 million accounted for 65 percent of the brand’s total budget for broadcast placement for the week.

Deloitte was the runner-up on Kantar’s list. The global consultancy spent nearly $4.9 million on placement for a new spot that ran exclusively during the U.S. Open. That represented 89 percent of its overall broadcast placement budget, making it the highest percentage devoted to new creative of any of the advertisers on the list.

Third on the list was luxury watchmaker Rolex, which also devoted a significant portion of its overall placement budget to placing new ads during the tournament. The brand spent over $4.1 million, 86 percent of its total placement budget of just under $4.8 million, on a 30-second spot, “A Portrait of the U.S. Open,” featuring Jack Nicklaus. Ninety-one percent of that was for placement during the tournament.

The USGA was the next highest spender on new creative. The organization devoted over $3.7 million of its broadcast placement budget of over $15 million to a new “Play 9” spot promoting nine-hole golf as a time-friendly way to enjoy the game. Around 16 percent of that was spent on placement during the U.S. Open.

Luxury auto brand Lexus rounded out the list, devoting $3.5 million of its broadcast placement budget of around $12 million to the latest in its “Experience Amazing” campaign. Lexus spent 61 percent of that on placement during the U.S. Open.