Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Advertisers love Amazon's live sports play

Kerry Flynn
Oct 19, 2022
Illustration of a football in the shape of a video play arrow

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The ad industry is fawning over Amazon's push into live sports, making it no surprise that the NFL's first-ever Black Friday game will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

Driving the news: At Advertising Week New York — the annual conference where thousands of marketers, publishers and tech workers talk shop over panels and parties — speakers lauded Amazon's NFL games.

Why it matters: Big tech's content plays were once the ire of advertisers since ads had not been available on Netflix (until next month) or within Apple's and Amazon's original content. But the tech platforms are now welcoming them in with live sports, and the enthusiasm from advertisers could signal more deals ahead.

What they're saying: Jeremy Carey, chief investment officer at marketing agency Optimum Sports, addressed the issue at the event.

  • "You're bringing the average age of your audiences down. The consumer's ability as a spender also goes up," Carey said Monday. "The ability to talk to and extend reach across [Amazon's] distribution is tremendous."
  • Monique Harrison, head of brand marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA, touted the data piece during a separate conversation on Tuesday.
  • "The retargeting and the data and the measurement that we can get through a partner like Amazon just simply does not exist on linear," she said.

Yes, but: Carey acknowledged that the move to streaming hasn't been easy for all audiences.

  • "I'm not sure if, right now, the consumer does win," Carey said. "The old model gets disrupted, and there's probably some folks out there saying, 'How do I get to my Thursday Night Football? And what's the cost?'"

What's next: At the end of Tuesday's panel, Michael Smith, news analyst for Prime Video's Thursday Night Football, said he wants Amazon to buy more live sports rights.

  • "Bring on the NBA rights. Bring on college football rights," Smith said. "Not to mention sports programming when it comes to studio shows."
  • Danielle Carney, Amazon Ads' Head of NFL Sales who moderated the panel, said that's the plan.
Go deeper