How sports leagues are keeping live sponsors happy, and how interns can survive a sad summer in advertising: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
The world of sports sponsorships is not so wide during the pandemic. Official sponsors of leagues around the world spent $46.1 billion last year, but in 2020 that will drop to $28.9 billion, reports Ad Age's E.J. Schultz and Jessica Wohl.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen most new sponsorship agreements put on hold, and many existing agreements will be ended as a result of companies implementing major cost-cutting measures or going out of business,” according to Two Circles, a sports agency that tracks brand spending with the National Football League, Wimbledon, Premier League soccer and other properties.
Everyone knows that professional sports, and even the Summer Olympics, went dark during the pandemic, but what happened to all those advertisers? “COVID-19 has put more than 120,000 active sponsorships in limbo in the U.S., forcing more than 5,000 brands to figure out how to recoup lost value,” according to sponsorship consultancy IEG.
The National Basketball Association and National Hockey League have returned money to sponsors at stadiums for games not played, Schultz and Wohl report.
Other marketers have been resourceful like Ally Financial, which has a deal with Hendrick Motorsports and Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson. The brand still works with Johnson, only off the track, by promoting his fan meetups on video.
That's a different kind of Zoom for the speed racer.
The job picture is grim around the U.S., and it is downright bleak for college students who were dreaming of catching their big breaks with internships this summer. Here on Madison Avenue the agencies are shuttered for the foreseeable future and won't be welcoming new hires and interns into the office.
Ad Age's Lindsay Rittenhouse reports on the job prospects in advertising during this vulnerable moment.
One agency, San Francisco-based Eleven, is relying on an anonymous donor to pay for four summer positions, Rittenhouse writes. And the 4As is proceeding with its Multicultural Advertising Internship Program to promote more diversity in the industry. The programs are scaled back to account for the troubled times, but there will be job training programs online and other virtual connections.
“The biggest piece missing in this is not being able to experience a culture,” says Michele Sileo, managing director of Eleven. “So that will be a bummer. On the flip side, these kids are entering a job market in the worst of times. In many ways, they are thrilled to have something to do, put on their résumés and gain some skills and experience, regardless of what it is.”
Advertising agencies are trying to imagine what a return to the office looks like, and it looks to be slow going. Some Madison Avenue firms think September is a realistic goal, and even then, there will be many precautions limiting the number of staff working at their desks.
Ad Age's Lindsay Rittenhouse talked with some of the agencies making preparations for that inevitable return. Glow, for instance, plans to be flexible with workers, allowing some to still work from home. Rittenhouse writes: “Permanent remote working is one tactic businesses are considering when their companies return to some sense of normalcy. They also include providing protective equipment such as masks and gloves and developing social-distancing strategies."
Roku is giving advertisers a break on ads, reports Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi. In deals it is working out as part of NewFronts season, the connected TV player said it will not charge brands for viewers they already reached on linear TV.
That could answer concerns brands have about overlapping their commercials that hit the same person alternating between conventional TV and a Roku box. The promise to avoid serving redundant ads also eases advertisers' concerns about wasting money during the downturn.
Roku is about to make its pitch to advertisers at its NewFronts presentation, being held online on June 22.
“Roku has already struck upfront deals with some consumer packaged goods brands and financial services companies, as well as other industries that are experiencing strong consumer demand right now,” Poggi writes.
All eyes on Iowa: As pandemic-delayed primaries move forward, a messy election just gets messier. Ad Age's Simon Dumenco and Kevin Brown report on the latest campaign spending around Super Tuesday.
Wedding answers: Creativity's I-Hsien Sherwood talks with Dhanusha Sivajee, chief marketing officer at The Knot Worldwide, about the state of the marriage economy.
Privacy anniversary: It's been two years since Europe's General Data Protection Regulation took effect, but privacy watchdogs criticize lax enforcement so far. In an open letter, Austrian activist and author Max Schrems urges more action against data transgressors, Bloomberg News reports.
TikTok revs up: The Chinese app TikTok and its sister app Douyin were big winners in April as more people stayed home glued to their screens, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Bloomberg News reports that in-app revenue for TikTok and Douyin rose tenfold to $78 million last month.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.
Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options at AdAge.com/membership.