Ad spending related to professional sports so far this year is below 2020 levels. According to MediaRadar, $1.99 billion was spent in this year’s first quarter, which is 23% higher than 2019’s $1.62 billion but down 28% year-over-year versus the pre-pandemic Q1 2020 number of $2.75 billion.
After an 84% year-over-year freefall in Q2 2020, from $1.4 billion to $221.74 million, due to stoppage of play due to the pandemic, ad spending on NFL, NASCAR, NBA, MLB and NHL games rebounded as games resumed, MediaPost reports.
Comparing Q3 2020 to the year before, ad spending jumped 59% from $1.29 billion to $2.05 billion. In the fourth quarter, the ad spend rose 9.5% year-over-year.
Three of sports’ largest categories – tech, finance and entertainment – saw only modest changes between 2019 and 2020. Tech’s share declined slightly from 16% to 15%. Finance and entertainment were each up one percentage point at 15% and 13%, respectively in 2020. Overall, the tech, finance, and entertainment categories spent $3.9 billion in 2020, an increase of 13% versus 2019. Ad spending in the automotive category on professional sports games saw the largest decline during 2020, from a 15% share to 12%, reflecting a 10% decrease in overall sports spending during the year, according to MediaRadar.