OTT Advertising Guide

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Reach Sports Fans with our OTT Advertising Guide

While most trends come and go, especially when it comes to media and entertainment, one thing that has remained consistent is America’s dedication to sports. Last year alone, nearly 154 million individuals tuned into live sports content and that number is projected to rise to over 160 million by 2024.

With fans eager for new ways to watch their favorite games, it comes as no surprise that viewing options have expanded beyond traditional cable. More people are cord-cutting, ditching their cable TV subscriptions for streaming services, disrupting the way fans are able to get their favorite live games. Marketers are taking advantage of this shift in viewing habits and continuing to capture sports-lovers’ attention by leveraging OTT advertising.

What is OTT?

OTT stands for ‘over-the-top’, which basically means any content delivered over the internet to a TV or mobile device. By bypassing traditional cable distribution, OTT content doesn’t have to adhere to program scheduling or fit within limited airtime and is available for streaming on-demand. Popular sports streaming platforms Cast Iron Media partners with include, NBA League Pass, and the NHL on ESPN+.

Connected TV

OTT is often interchanged with CTV, which stands for ‘Connected TV’. Though different, the two go hand-in-hand. OTT is the delivery platform that allows viewers to watch TV content online, while CTV is the device used to watch the content. In other words, OTT content can be delivered through Connected TVs, desktops and mobile devices.

15 Million Subscribers by 2024

OTT viewership and subscriptions are booming, especially among sport fans. The number of U.S. consumers getting their video content from OTT subscriptions will likely increase to more than 15 million subscribers by 2024. As audiences grow and new content is released every day, OTT sports advertising is an excellent opportunity to amplify your brand and target specific demographics.

Benefits of OTT Sports Advertising

An obvious plus of OTT sports advertising is the high volume of people switching over to OTT from traditional TV. But there are even more benefits that make OTT sports advertising a prime opportunity for any business.

  • Ability to Reach Niche Audiences

    It is no secret that the media ecosystem is vast, and competing for eyeballs is harder than ever. Live games provide a consistent audience that can be precisely targeted better than other programming. Advertisers can run personalized ads in ultra-specific areas of consumer interest. For instance, there are tons of data showing the characteristics and demographics of different sports fan bases, making it easier to determine if an OTT ad will perform better during a football, basketball, or hockey game. Furthermore, traditional sports ad buys typically only allow you to target specific team fans in their market through a local ad buy. This means that you would be missing out on a large audience of fans who root for out-of-market teams, not to mention fans who are interested in sports for legalized gambling, fantasy teams, or fans who are more fans of specific players than local teams.

  • Optimized Ad Spending

    Compared to standard linear, OTT ads stretch marketing budget further and dramatically reduce waste. Through advanced audience targeting, ads can be narrowed down, only appearing to people who are likely to be interested in the brand, product, or service. Think of it as a win-win for both advertiser and consumer.

    Advertisers can also set up unique impression goals for specific target audiences and campaign managers can test various creatives with the ability to shift ad campaign budgets in near real-time.

  • Access to In-Depth Analytics

    The majority of OTT sports consumers access content on CTVs, computers, and mobile devices by using various different apps. These apps offer features that track usage, demographic data, and online behavior of the user, giving marketers comprehensive insight into who is seeing and engaging with their ad.

    A few examples of variables that can be pulled from OTT advertising are:

    • Impressions
    • % of Video Watched
    • Pause/Mute Rate
    • Conversions

Best OTT Sports Advertising Practices

Consider your Audience

With the ability to reach niche audiences, advertisers can hone in on consumers’ likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. By creating personalized ads that cater to specific groups, your ad is more likely to perform well--leaving a lasting impression and bringing about a positive attitude towards your brand.

Format for Multiple Devices

OTT ads can appear anywhere people are streaming sports content. They can appear across multiple device types including mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers, and smart TVs. It is important to identify sizing beforehand so that your call to action is immediately apparent on all screen types.

OTT Advertising Costs

Traditional broadcast TV buys are typically more expensive than OTT ad buys in terms of monthly budget minimums. While OTT advertising can cost $25 – $50 CPMs (cost per thousand impressions), traditional TV advertising rates can range anywhere from $50 – $200 CPMs.

When considering the inefficiencies of broadcast TV advertising with its limited audience targeting and minimal data access, OTT advertising is a stronger and more cost-effective solution.

OTT Sports Advertising Takeaways

The OTT sports advertising landscape is growing and evolving every day as consumers shift from traditional TV to streaming services. It allows for hyper-targeted campaigns thanks to niche audience targeting and detailed data analytics. Incorporating OTT sports advertising into your marketing strategy ensures that you engage with your audience in meaningful and personalized ways.

Where to begin

Nationwide Sports Advertising Opportunities

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