Political Ads Target Sports Fans

Candidates buy time on regional sports networks to reach men, swing voters
By Rebecca Smith Hurd,  Newser User
Posted Sep 25, 2008 12:47 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, center, shows the "hook em horns" as he poses with members of the University of Texas football team in Austin, Texas.    (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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(Newser) – John McCain and Barack Obama are betting on the Minnesota-Ohio State football game this weekend—but they’d rather score points with fans than on the field, the Wall Street Journal reports. The candidates are advertising on regional sports networks to reach swing voters, and hard-to-reach men, in seven states.

The Big Ten Network, available in 22 million homes, has pulled in about 20% of the political ads sold by Fox Sports Net on regional sports networks this month. What makes the networks so attractive? Candidates don’t need to spend a lot to grab the attention of a valuable demographic.