What About March Madness & 2020 Olympics?

Coronavirus has heavily impacted industries such as healthcare and finance on a global scale.  Now, the disease has entered the sports world, much to the dismay of fans everywhere.  While sports leagues and tournaments rarely cancel or postpone events, the CDC’s advice to practice “social distancing” has caused the industry to rethink its position. Everywhere, sports leaders are informing fans that safety comes first by calling off large events. This shift has left fans to fend for themselves in terms of entertainment and many are heading to streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu. On the other side of the sports world, we at TXADPR found that advertisers are also trying to figure out what to do next, especially for March Madness and the 2020 Olympics. 

The NCAA March Madness tournament is typically the marquee spring advertising event where brands showcase their new deals/products/services. This year, Turner and CBS booked upwards of $900M in ad sales for the popular tournament. However, with the March Madness’ cancellation, it is unclear how much, if any, of that money is to be kept by the networks. Now, the question is, will NBC also run into this issue for the 2020 Olympics? Based on how quickly the coronavirus has escalated, we at TXADPR find it likely that the 2020 Olympics (intended to be hosted in Tokyo) will be cancelled. Yet, NBC’s advertising sales for the 2020 Olympics passed their old record from the 2016 Olympics of $1.2B. It is time for the network to seriously start thinking about what will happen to the brands who have purchased ads.

Although many fans are upset about losing their beloved sports, we at TXADPR believe it is important that we prioritize the wellbeing of each person. We would love to hear what you think and what you are doing to pass the time. Reach out to us @TXADPR on our social media pages.

Reece White