In the dynamic world of sports marketing, where passion meets performance, data and technology have become pivotal players. Disney, as one of the largest media companies globally, is taking the lead in urging sports advertisers to unlock the full potential of data-driven insights and tech tools. Senior Vice President of Disney Advertising Sales, Wendell Scott, emphasizes the untapped opportunities lying within the vast realm of fan data, urging marketers to capitalise on the wealth of information available.

The data dilemma

Scott points out that the sports marketing landscape is not lacking in fan data; instead, the industry has been slower to harness this data for valuable insights. While sports are traditionally viewed as a means for brands to achieve widespread visibility, Scott believes that the true potential lies in leveraging data to create actionable insights that drive campaign effectiveness.

Disney’s Data Arsenal

As a media giant, Disney boasts an expansive digital footprint, with 20 million individuals engaging with ESPN‘s digital content each month. These fans have the ability to personalise their experiences, allowing Disney to curate a detailed understanding of their preferences, from favourite teams to content consumption habits. The company utilises audience graphs, clean rooms, and programmatic buying for live sports, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for advertisers.

First-Party fans

Disney’s treasure trove of first-party data extends beyond content preferences, including purchasing behaviour. Scott emphasises that combining this information enables specific targeting, driving better performance for advertisers. Even brand awareness campaigns are now scrutinised through lower-funnel performance metrics, ensuring marketing dollars are well-spent.

Clean Sweep with Data Collaboration

Disney facilitates data collaboration by operating over 75 clean rooms, a feature enabled through partnerships with major holding companies, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. Scott envisions marketers combining their first-party data with Disney’s, creating a powerful synergy for more effective campaigns. Clean rooms have become popular, but there’s still ample room for growth, according to Scott.

Pro-Game-matic: thinking beyond programmatic

While sports advertisers commonly use programmatic marketplaces for audience targeting, Scott suggests a shift in mindset. Rather than focusing solely on the audience, he advocates considering automation and programmatic from a content standpoint. Scott encourages advertisers to seize opportunities presented during live sports events, leveraging real-time automation and programmatic solutions to make the most of unexpected spikes in viewership.

Disney’s push to encourage sports advertisers to embrace data and tech represents a strategic move toward unlocking the full potential of fan engagement. As the sports marketing landscape evolves, leveraging data-driven insights and innovative technologies becomes imperative for advertisers looking to score big in this dynamic arena. With Disney’s robust suite of tools and a call for greater collaboration, the future of sports advertising holds exciting possibilities for those willing to embrace the data and tech playbook.

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