How Much Do Advertisers Spend During Playoffs?

The playoffs for any major sport are some of the most fun, competitive and exciting games of the year with everyone tuning in. Eager companies dished out $3 billion in television advertising during the 2018 playoff games across all four major US sports, with the NFL collecting 62% of the spend, according to research from MediaRadar.

Out of several companies, Verizon spent the most among companies (over $100 million) that advertised in at least one of the league’s playoff games. The company was the only one to be named a top-10 spender across all four sports and it was the highest spender in the NFL playoffs, as well as the MLB (baseball).

More than half of the total ad spend came from just 23 companies, including General Motors, Anheuser-Busch and AT&T.

Despite the debate surrounding the league and with just 11 playoff games televised, the NFL saw a very encouraging renewal rate. Other professional leagues like the NBA (basketball) all had playoff renewal rates at just half of the NFL even though they have many more games.

The NBA saw a decrease in the number of companies advertising during its 92 playoff games. However, it did attract a large number of advertisers amongst the leagues, and over 100 companies ran ads exclusively during NBA playoff games which attracts around 20 million viewers on average during the final series. It is estimated that $570 million was spent during the first three rounds of NBA playoffs.

Fashion-related companies spent more advertising during the NBA playoffs than all three other sports playoffs combined, due to the freedom NBA players receive to dress how they’d like on and off the court.

While the NHL is second to the NBA in terms of playing the highest number of playoff games, the league captured the smallest share of 2018 playoff advertising spend. The NHL played 80 playoff games in 2018, but only accounted for 4% of the $3 billion spent in playoff advertising.

Even though the NHL lacked advertisers during their playoffs compared to its counterparts, the league was able to increase its number of advertisers by 1%.

Will we see this number increase in 2019? After another Super Bowl appearance by the Patriots, no Lebron James in the NBA playoffs and the NHL season favorite Tampa Bay Lightning out of the playoffs it may be tough to swing.