It’s no secret that ESPN has been struggling to stay afloat amidst serious losses due to cord-cutting. After layoffs, and continuously falling numbers—the sports giant has decided to make some changes to the way that they market. Primarily, with how the company appeals to women.
ESPN has always been associated with all things sports. Following generations of stereotypes, the programming has focused on their largest audience demographic—men. This has alienated roughly 49.6% of the population, making the loss of subscribers all the more damaging.
Alexandra Bruell of the Wall Street Journal writes, “ESPN’s sales pitch is an extension of its new marketing strategy to broaden its audience, with the aim of giving a boost to ratings and subscribers. The effort comes as ESPN grapples with a shift from traditional TV viewing to online consumption, leading to cord-cutting and subscriber losses.”
Statistics show that nearly 75% of women watch some sort of sport on a regular basis. This is a drastic shift from much lower numbers only a few decades ago. ESPN has used these numbers to pitch a new and improved marketing strategy that could pull in new advertisers.
Northwestern Mutual is using this opportunity to release their first ad campaign focused entirely on strong and professional women, titled, “Spend Your Life Living.” They’re not the only ones taking advantage of sports as a new and effective vehicle to reach female consumers. Time Warner, a long-time advertiser with ESPN, will be marketing their newest family friendly flick, “Paddington 2” during the season.
Be prepared to see more networks changing strategies in an attempt to keep up with cord-cutting as they lose more subscribers to cheaper and more user-friendly entertainment options.
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