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Sportsbooks Tripled Radio Ad Spending In 2021

“Online sports betting is projected to invest $125 million on over the air radio in 2022, per BIA.”

Will Dundon

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In the first nine months of 2021 online betting brands virtually tripled their ad spending to $30 million as competing sportsbooks opened their wallets to attract new customers and hold onto existing ones. That’s up from $10.9 million spent in the first nine months of 2020, according to data compiled by Kantar.  

Online gambling brands like FanDuel, DraftKings, Bet MGM and others remained cautious for the fourth quarter to correspond with the NFL season. In fact, online betting brands spent another roughly $9 million during fourth quarter 2020. The spend in 2020 in total was approximately four times what the category spent in 2019.

The Kantar radio numbers are estimates when compared to numbers from BIA Advisory Services. Online sports betting is projected to invest $125 million on over-the-air radio in 2022, per BIA.

The major reason for this trend is that sports betting is being legalized in more states over time.  This past weekend, New York decided to be the 19th state, along with the District of Columbia, where online gambling is live and legal.  New York City, radio’s largest market, can now join many others in the arena of sportsbook advertising by specifically targeting New York residents.  That’s in addition to money already being expended by online gambling brands on New York City stations targeting residents in the neighboring states of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, where it was already legal.

NYC isn’t the only market gaining here either. Broadcasters along the New York State Thruway circuit of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany should also thrive.

“One of radio’s most significant growth categories in 2021, sportsbook advertising, will continue in 2022 as more states legalize online gambling,” Christine Travaglini, President of rep firm Katz Radio Group, recently told Inside Radio for their Radio Forecast 2022 series.  “Big brands understand that they need advertising to attract new customers and hold onto existing customers in a very competitive space. Their initial goals focus on getting consumers to download their app, which is currently how they determine their ROI.”

However, there is another major chunk of advertising space for sports betting. According to Kantar, $329.3 million was spent on online betting advertising during the first nine months of 2021, up from $182.7 million in the 2020 cycle.

Sports Radio News

Suzyn Waldman ‘Still here’ at WFAN after 35 years

I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman is celebrating 35 years on the air. Waldman, the first voice heard on WFAN, is thankful to be where she is.

“I don’t know if I’ve worn down the critics, but I’m still here,” Waldman told Neil Best of Newsday. “I mean, it’s 35 years, and I’m still here and I’ve had a terrific career.”

Waldman looked back on the experience of doing the very first update on the air at WFAN. While doing the first update alongside Jim Lampley, a fill-in for Pete Franklin, she was shocked when listeners did not approve of her updates and tied it to her being female. She thought, “Oh my God, this is not what I thought it was going to be,” she said.

That was not something she was accustomed to in the theater. Waldman had a background in musical theater before getting into radio and eventually joining WFAN as it went on the air in 1987.

“It was a rude awakening,” she said. “But it was at that moment that everything changed.”

Waldman eventually began working the overnight shift alongside Steve Somers. It was there she really honed her craft.

Suzyn has been calling Yankees games alongside John Sterling since 2005. This is her eighth season calling Yankee games on WFAN.

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Sports Radio News

16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming

The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

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Streaming Radio

According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.

The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.

Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets

The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.

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Sports Radio News

New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend

More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

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MLB Radio

When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.

In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.

Radio Listeners to MLB

Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.

The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.

Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.

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