How to Grab Obama's Ear: Buy ESPN Airtime

Companies target influencers, elite with ads on network
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2013 9:52 AM CDT
President Barack Obama holds up a personalized New Orleans Saints team jersey.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – How to woo Barack Obama to your cause? Via ESPN, apparently. Companies and organizations have been buying up ad time on the sports network with the hope of catching the known sports fan's attention, Politico reports. "It's certainly a tactic that’s talked about a lot," says a media strategist who claims a client ran ads slyly targeted to Obama during the first-term climate change debate.

Although no organizations will publicly confirm their ads have a very, very specific demographic, Politico suggests it is perhaps no coincidence that Microsoft's anti-Google "Scroogled" ads appeared during Monday Night Football just as federal regulators were scrutinizing the company's business practices late last year. And it isn't just the POTUS who could be paying attention to the political messages. "The data is clear that a significant amount of elites and influencers are watching ESPN and sports programs," says another media strategist. "There is really a high value to being on those networks because you are much more likely to get the eyeballs you want than being on some other places." (Read more ESPN stories.)

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