The Importance of Branded Entertainment

A few years ago I was talking with Robbie Weiss, the man who heads up NASCAR’s international plans. Those who market NASCAR to consumers, corporate partners and media, know that it is as much an entertainment product as it is sport.

Some sailing events understand this relationship between sport and entertainment. the iShares Cup and Volvo Ocean Race being the best examples. These events aren’t just entertainment though. They are branded entertainment.

New research shows the overall importance of branded entertainment continues to climb in the strategic planning of leading marketers with more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) investing in some type of branded entertainment as a means to reach consumers.

Brian Murphy, EVP, TBA Global, the company that initiated the survey says:

“This report clarifies the growing strategic role that Branded Entertainment plays by correctly defining it as the strategic and programmatic use of relevant content or entertainment as a focal point to attract, engage and influence targeted audiences.”

“This report found that the overall importance of branded entertainment as an integrated marketing strategy appears to be increasing with leading marketers with 67% of respondents stating that events were the largest part of their integrated programs.”

While event programming was the most popular branded entertainment investment, digital media is growing in importance as companies are turning live experiences into online content that is then distributed online via social networks and custom web programming.

If you are an event organiser or rights holder, you should be thinking about this angle. Some are, and doing a great job. As we always say – think about the fans!