Companies are turning to live sports as a resilient type of entertainment to promote their businesses. It is a strong moment for the sport in the WBD since the basketball season just ended and the NBA and NHL playoffs are happening right now. WBD Sports, in particular, has a unique strategy in promoting sports. Chairman and CEO Luis Silberwasser says that their approach differs from other players in many ways, making use of TruTV to create cultural moments. Jon Steinlauf, WBD’s Chief US Advertising Sales Officer, believes that sports is the most important genre for ad-supported TV, and it makes an impact on people. In contrast, entertainment and news programs saw lower viewership, causing a decline in television advertising.
WBD Sports stands out from the other sports promotion companies. They have a live studio show with “Inside the NBA,” hosted by Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal. It is the most popular show of its kind on television, and the company recently announced that all main attendees have signed a new contract. WBD Sports also wants to create a playful and engaging atmosphere for its NHL and MLB studio shows, appealing not just to hardcore fans but also to the casual ones.
WBD Sports recognizes the importance of having premium sports rights, which is why NBA rights are a top priority for company executives, especially with new contracts starting in 2025. “The Match” is WBD Sports’ wholly-owned golf brand, where athletes and celebrities tee off against each other, making it an economically lucrative sport. The latest installment, branded as Capital One’s “The His Match,” pits Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kels against Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The company hopes to make the games exciting, relevant, and engaging beyond regular golf.
It remains a tough year for the company with the pandemic and economic instability, but it is ready to make a lot of noise about the live sports they can offer when buyers sit inside the theater at Madison Square Garden. They plan to leverage their sports promotion and lifestyle brands, such as CNN, HGTV, and Discovery, among others, to attract audiences. Ultimately, WBD Sports aims to engage a more diverse audience with a different approach to sports promotion.