Paramount Plans New Swing At Matching Advertisers With Sports Influencers

Paramount Global wants to start a new game in sports advertising.

In an era of streaming, sports broadcasts command some the highest ad prices in the medium. Now Paramount wants to broaden the playing field for sponsors by working with them to have a big team of influencers help them with their pitch.

More from Variety

The company’s ad-sales division is launching the “CBS Sports Creator Studio,” a new offering that aims to connect advertisers to fans who often follow clips and highlights along with watching games from start to finish.

“Our CBS Sports social platforms are growing in terms of engagement and impressions,” says John Bogusz, executive vice president of CBS Sports ad sales for Paramount Advertising, during an interview. Advertisers can connect with a younger group of sports fans who follow social handles for CBS’ golf and soccer properties, along with other parts of the sports portfolio. CBS Sports also holds rights to NFL and college football and shares the NCAA March Madness men’s basketball tournament with Warner Bros. Discovery.

The new studio is revealed as Paramount is working to sell the last of its regular-season inventory for NFL games and college football, as well as a few remaining ad slots for its 2024 broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII. CBS has been seeking at least $6.5 million to $7 million for a 30-second spot, according to people familiar with the matter. Bogusz said the company is “cautiously optimistic” about its efforts to lure sponsors to what remains of Big Game inventory.

Under the new program, Paramount will work to team advertisers with athletes, sports influencers, creators and even on-air talent who can connect fans to important sports moments and pre-game celebrations; offer behind-the-scenes access to talent; or create custom content that ties in with a specific sport or moment.

“An ideal campaign would partner a brand with digital native content creators who have a unique or trusted relationship with their audiences. We’d provide them with access or assets they wouldn’t otherwise have, supercharging their already powerful content to connect a brand with their fans,” says Ryan Wolf,  senior vice president of Paramount Advertising’s Paramount Brand Studio, via email. A sample campaign. she says, could consist of customized videos on social platforms like TikTok or Instagram, or short 15-second vignette that prod viewers to make a purchase or visit a website.

At the root of the new offer is Paramount’s 2018 purchase of WhoSay, an influencer-marketing firm. “They have created a rolodex if you will of influencers,” says Ryan Briganti, senior vice president of CBS Sports at Paramount Advertising. “It’s really sort of a customizing tool that we can access. and use to tap into influencers. Some are ex-athletes. Others have never played sports before.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.