Why SMI Advertises on Sports Stations

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Sep 08
Soccer ball, baseball, and tennis ball next to a microphone.
Sports stations have proven an effective medium for many of SMI’s clients, including top national brands. I asked SMI’s Senior Media Buyers Pam Wolfgram and Josh Knock what makes the Sports format so successful.

Inside Radio recently reported that the sports radio format “has traditionally been the most male-heavy of radio formats and the latest Nielsen data shows that remains the case.” What demo can advertisers expect to reach with Sports stations? 

Josh: Sports is a very targeted format. It’s really geared toward that Male 25-54 demo. 

Pam: We typically rely on Sports to deliver Men 25-54 but we can effectively reach Men 35-64 as well.  


Although Sports is a male-heavy radio format, SMI’s clients have found success across a wide range of products in a variety of sectors, from men’s health to financial services to education. In your experience, which products perform best on sports? 

Pam: We would not expect to see great results for a female-focused campaign, but if a campaign is male-skewing or a mix, we can be sure that Sports will perform. 

In the past, we’ve used the Sports format to build massive campaigns for a major fantasy sports brand that dominated the air during NFL season every year. We also relied heavily on Sports to accommodate roughly 30% of our Valentine’s Day campaigns for a well-known National Flower company. More regularly, though, we use Sports every week for all campaigns seeking low CPMs and an audience that is highly engaged and responsive.


What benefits can advertisers expect to see with the Sports format?

Pam: Sports is perhaps the most interesting format to buy. It is what I’d call a “seasonal” format, with the seasons following major sports (MLB, NFL, etc.) but also major gifting holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.). Listenership picks up considerably during MLB and NFL season, and while rates also tend to increase accordingly, the CPM remains stable. For gifting holidays, Valentine’s Day in particular, the response just can’t be beat!

Josh: I agree. What helps make Sports talk so effective is how engaged the audience is given that most programs offer audience participation by taking calls. Most Sports Talk stations offer a real nice mix of local programming and national syndication, so avid fans do not miss a beat. This makes Sports Talk a very effective local and national buy for anyone targeting a male audience.


What else should potential advertisers know about advertising on Sports stations? 

Pam: NFL is about to kick-off and the time on Sports stations is going to get precious, really fast! It will stay that way through the end of October. There will be a window of time in October where inventory is next-to-impossible to get without paying top dollar (a perfect storm of NFL, World Series and early NBA). It is a really exciting time to be on Sports!

Josh: I agree.  Demand will significantly increase this fall with legalized gambling (daily and season-long) leading the way. We are already seeing this with SXM.


Want to know if Sports radio might be a good fit for your brand? Call SMI today to learn more.

Subscribe to our posts

Subscribe to our posts for the latest company and industry news including: Podcasts and Radio Listernship Insights, Creative Research, Audio Trends, Forecasts, and more!