Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

MLB Playoffs and Political Advertising

September 19 | Posted by: | Consider This, Marketing Strategy


With fall coming in a few short days, many Americans have sports on the brain. As baseball season comes to an end, and football season off and running (or hobbling, depending on how you look at it), advertisers have a plethora of options for where they can display their messages.

Whatever type of game you choose, you typically see very similar, repetitive ads… cars, beer, food, you know the drill. But with elections coming up, one group of advertisers in particular is capitalizing on sports advertising opportunities – political candidates.

If you thought you could enjoy a game and escape the ever-present nagging pleas of political candidates, think again. From a consumer standpoint, it’s annoying. From a political advertiser’s standpoint, it’s genius. During the political window, the two main sports being televised are football and baseball. Football fans are likely to follow the games very closely early on because they’re excited about a new season, while baseball fans are likely to follow their teams because the World Series is approaching.

The benefits for political advertisers don’t stop there. MLB fans are typically concentrated in specific markets. It is easy for local politicians to tap into sporting games that appeal to their hometown base. It is also easy for politicians to dive into larger markets, especially Roll Call’s most recently reported prime markets.

Many political advertisers, including President Obama, have used sports to score big, making impressions where they matter most. Seeing that men aged 18-35 are the hardest group of voters to reach, it makes sense to target this demographic through sports. From a media buying standpoint, this seems like a no-brainer – political candidates advertising on sports games have a pretty good chance of hitting a home-run.