Stories

Advertisers flood World Series for D.C. opinion leaders

There were more advocacy and corporate social responsibility ads aired during the first two games of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros than any other type of ad, according to data from Advertising Analytics, a strategy firm that specializes in political and issues advertising.

Data: Advertising Analytics. Graphic: Naema Ahmed/Axios 

Why it matters: Advertisers are flocking to the baseball championship as an opportunity to reach Washington opinion leaders.

Be smart: This is a departure from typical sports championships, in which consumer package goods and retail ads typically dominate commercial time.

Yes, but: This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for brands to reach Washington decision makers in a casual environment.

  • While many marquee advertisers sponsor events around Washington DC, there are few games that will have as high of an impact and as engaged of an audience as a World Series that includes a Washington team.

Details: The World Series so far has attracted mostly defense, enterprise technology and healthcare ads.

  • Airbus and CACI, which specialize in aerospace and defense, respectively, both ran ads during the first game of the series promoting career development and bolstering their brands generally.
  • 3M, a mining and manufacturing company, ran dozens of ads between both games.
  • Amazon, Microsoft, HP, Dell and IBM all took the opportunity to message about things like conservation and bettering the economy.
  • Health care ads also ran locally in the DC metropolitan area, primarily around drug prices.

Be smart: This isn’t totally new to the district. Leidos, a Northern Virginia-based defense company, has been a longtime sponsor of D.C. United, Washington D.C.’s professional soccer team.

The bottom line: Issue and advocacy ads have been growing as a category for many publishers and advertising companies, including sports leagues, as the hyper-political environment in Washington becomes more contentious, forcing companies to take a stand on more issues than they have in the past.

Go deeper: CEOs under more pressure to save society