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Heavy Hitters: The Biggest World Series Advertisers in the Last Five Years

By Published on .

Chevrolet featured Little League standout Mo'ne Davis in a 2014 World Series commercial.
Chevrolet featured Little League standout Mo'ne Davis in a 2014 World Series commercial. Credit: Chevrolet via YouTube

The World Series begins Oct. 24 on Fox when the Houston Astros take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Astros are out to win their first World Series; the Dodgers have won the title six times, most recently in 1988.

The World Series draws a deep bench of major league advertisers pitching cars, telecom services, car insurance, food and beer. But its biggest spender over the past five years has been General Motors. GM's Chevrolet has played America's pastime for decades (think 1970s' iconic "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet") and sponsors the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player award. Last fall's matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians scored a record $460 million in TV ad spending.

Five Biggest Advertisers
World Series measured-media TV spending. Dollars in millions.
2012 – Length of series: 4 games
San Francisco Giants: 4
Detroit Tigers: 0
General Motors (Chevrolet) $11
AT&T (AT&T, DirecTV) 9
Verizon 9
Microsoft 7
Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) 7
Top five $43
World Series total TV ad spending $175
2013 – Length of series: 6 games
Boston Red Sox: 4
St. Louis Cardinals: 2
General Motors (Chevrolet) $17
Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) 13
AT&T (DirecTV, AT&T) 12
Anheuser-Busch InBev 12
Berkshire Hathaway (Geico) 10
Top five $64
World Series total TV ad spending $277
2014 – Length of series: 7 games
San Francisco Giants: 4
Kansas City Royals: 3
General Motors (Chevrolet) $18
Berkshire Hathaway (Geico) 16
AT&T (DirecTV, AT&T) 16
Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) 11
Verizon 10
Top five $71
World Series total TV ad spending $284
2015 – Length of series: 5 games
Kansas City Royals: 4
New York Mets: 1
General Motors (Chevrolet) $16
AT&T (DirecTV, AT&T) 14
Berkshire Hathaway (Geico) 11
T-Mobile 10
Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) 9
Top five $60
World Series total TV ad spending $266
2016 – Length of series: 7 games
Chicago Cubs: 4
Cleveland Indians: 3
Ford (Lincoln, Ford) $19
Berkshire Hathaway (Duracell, Geico) 16
General Motors (Chevrolet) 15
Procter & Gamble 15
Verizon 14
Top five $78
World Series total TV ad spending $460
Five-year Total
General Motors (Chevrolet) $76
AT&T (DirecTV, AT&T) 64
Berkshire Hathaway (Geico) 59
Yum Brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC) 51
Verizon 49
Top five $299
World Series total TV ad spending $1,461
Spending includes broadcast network TV (Fox), cable TV networks (Fox Deportes) and spot TV. Figures include pre-game, in-game and post-game spending. World Series total TV ad spending includes top five and all other advertisers. Numbers rounded. Spending is pro forma, factoring in acquisitions and divestitures.
Source: Ad Age Datacenter analysis of measured-media spending data from Kantar Media.
More info: kantarmedia.com.

2016 World Series Ad Spending
The Chicago Cubs last year captured the World Series for the first time since 1908 in a seven-game matchup against the Cleveland Indians that broke the record for World Series ad spending. Measured-media TV spending. Dollars in millions.
World Series total TV ad spending $460
*Broadcast network, cable, spot TV
SOURCE: Ad Age Datacenter analysis of measured-media spending data from Kantar Media. Numbers rounded. More info: kantarmedia.com.

World Series Versus Super Bowl
How in-game ad spending compares. The Super Bowl typically outscores the World Series in spending. Last year's Cubs/Indians series was an exception. Measured-media TV spending. Dollars in millions.
Super Bowl Five-year total $1,602
World Series Five-year total $1,296
SOURCE: World Series: Ad Age Datacenter analysis of measured-media in-game ad spending on broadcast network TV (Fox) from Kantar Media. Super Bowl: Estimated in-game ad spending from Kantar Media. Numbers rounded. More info: kantarmedia.com.

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