How Podcasting is Taking over Sports Advertising

What do you do on your morning commute? Just a few years ago, the answers tended to focus around listening to music or the radio. Today, the sensory distraction may remain the same, but the medium has gone digital.


It's too late to proclaim podcasting as up and coming. Today, it's a vital part of daily life for millions of Americans. And increasingly, it is becoming a sports advertising powerhouse.

Wait - What are Podcasts?

If, after reading the above introduction, you ask yourself this question, you have come to the right place. Podcasts are in many ways a digital, on-demand version of your father's radio talk shows. Typically featuring one or two hosts, along with interview subjects, they are comprised of individual episodes that focus on in-depth conversations around a specific topic.

Episodes are typically released at least once per week, and can be downloaded on mobile devices to listen to on the go - even without internet service. As a result, podcasts have become one of the fastest-growing types of media in the United States.

A Growing Media Phenomenon

More than 110 million U.S. Americans have listened to at least one podcast episode in 2017. Of them, 67 million Americans listen to at least one podcast per month, and 42 million do so at least weekly. Growth has been steady, between 10 and 20 percent annually for the past few years.

The topics audiences love listening to vary wildly, from true crime mysteries to daily politics. But among them all is one juggernaut: sports broadcasting, which has attracted some of the biggest names in sports in recent months and years.

A Podcast For Every Niche

Gone are the days when Bill Simmons was the only big name in the podcasting world. He still attracts millions of listeners each week, but so does Pardon My Take - Barstool Sports' satirical podcast featuring the iconic PFT Commenter persona.

Of course, it doesn't end there. If sarcasm isn't your thing, pundit greats like Colin Cowherd and Tony Kornheiser have made their way into the medium. So have the players themselves - from the Cleveland Cavaliers (and frequent guest LeBron James) to Draymond Green. Just recently, Indianapolis Colts punter (and fan favorite) Pat McAfee ended his NFL career prematurely in order to focus on contributing podcasts to Barstool Sports.

And that's just the beginning. At this point, almost every professional team has some professionally and some fan-produced podcasts available for interested audiences. That, in turn, opens up immense advertising possibility for brands looking to reach these fans.

Is Your Business Ready to Integrate Podcasting?

In many ways, advertising on Facebook is the new radio advertising. Hosts read the spots themselves, often written specifically to fit within the theme of the podcast. The result is more authenticity, helping companies looking to spread the word among sports fans keep their credibility while engaging in paid outreach.

Sponsorships on podcasts can vary wildly, but tend to be billed based on listenership. One sponsorship guide estimates that a spot tends to cost between $18 and $25 per thousand listens. For a podcast that reaches 100,000 listeners, that means a cost between $1,800 and $2,500 per episode.

In other words, it's a relatively inexpensive way to reach a very targeted audience in a medium that tends to blend advertising with its regular content. Implement it well, and your brand could benefit significantly. Sports ticket marketplace SeatGeek, for instance, has grown dramatically thanks in large part to spending a significant chunk of its budget on highly relevant sports podcasts.

Is your business ready to make the same leap? Are you willing to invest in a still relatively new strategy with potentially significant results? Podcasting might just be the right medium. Find the right podcast for your audience, and the benefits could be immense. For help in building an advertising strategy that includes and embraces podcasts, contact us.

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Topics: mobile sports advertising The Future of Sports Advertising Integrate Podcasting