Kantar: College Football Championship Sponsorship Worth Over $200M

Value Expected to Increase With Introduction of Playoff System in 2015

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Back in January 2011, ESPN announcer Brent Musburger gave the Tostitos BCS National Championship game's title sponsor an on-air shoutout by proclaiming before Auburn's last-second field goal against Oregon, "This is for all the Tostitos!"

By the time high-def TV marketer Vizio takes over as title sponsor for ESPN's telecast of the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 6, the marketer won't need any extra love from Mr. Musburger.

Vizio's combined media exposure for being the title sponsor of college football's biggest event should skyrocket to well over $200 million, according to Tracy Schoenadel, VP-sport and sponsorship solutions for Kantar Media.

Kantar arrives at its media exposure figures by looking at ad value -- the cost a sponsor would pay to purchase the equivalent ad time on a telecast with the equivalent audience -- and media value -- "calculated by determining the duration of the media exposure by all sources, e.g., field logo/signage, on-air graphics, verbal mentions."

College football fans have never been happy with the BCS Championship system, and next season the NCAA is switching to a playoff system.

But that doesn't mean marketers slapping their name on top of the big game aren't getting their money's worth, according to Kantar. (And the firm expects the value to increase with the playoff system.)

For the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game, the credit card company reaped $194.3 million in exposure, according to Kantar. In 2012, Allstate got $132 million. Tostitos received $106.1 in 2011 -- when Mr. Musburger delivered what appeared to be a shameless plug for the title sponsor at the critical moment in ESPN's telecast.

Except it wasn't a plug. It was just Mr. Musburger being Mr. Musburger. Neither Tostitos nor ESPN asked him to say the line.

Vizio might not be so lucky as to get a spontaneous callout, of course. Still, a $200 million return on what is typically estimated to be $15 million to $20 million investment is nothing to sneeze at. The company, which didn't respond to requests for comment, is in the midst of a four-year deal to be title sponsor of ESPN's telecast of the Rose Bowl.

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