Whenever we discuss automated graphics systems with potential clients, questions always come up regarding the generation and management of sponsor operations.
We thought the following might help serve as a quick guide.
Sponsor revenue can provide a great return on investment for an automated graphics system such as a News Ticker, Sports Ticker or L-Bar. Automated graphics lend themselves well to sponsorship via the generation of sponsor logos, clips and/or tag lines in the body of the graphics display.
In addition, since these types of systems generally have well-trained operators, it is a simple extension to having these operators schedule the display of sponsor logos and tag lines.
The key to tapping into this source of revenue is deploying an automated graphics system that allows you to easily add and manage sponsors, and to easily schedule them for display.
Sponsorship in an automated graphics system generally takes one of these forms, depending on your graphics system:
- Static – a still image is the easiest sponsor format for you and your client. This is typically an image (TGA, PSD or even JPG or PNG) file cropped to a size specified by your graphics layout. Even if you need to adjust things after receipt from your client, the process is painless and generally yields a satisfactory result. Just be sure to get the highest quality possible that’s suitable for your graphics or branding system.
- Animated – this is normally some type of cel animation, flipbook or clip file (e.g. MOV or AVI). On some graphics systems, these could be small proprietary format animations, but most can be created from a series or Targa files which your client should be able to create.
Sponsor taglines can appear on their own or with a sponsor image or clip. They add value to the sponsorship and are normally generated using the text generation capability of the graphics device.
Sponsor clips are more difficult to generate but might provide more revenue per placement. The important points here are to have the clip delivered to you in the size, aspect ratio and duration you need to fit into your graphics playout.
Here is an example of a static sponsor logo with tagline:
Available time slots – your inventory for sales
Ideally, you’d like to provide potential sponsors with a wide range of time slots when their logo and/or tagline will be seen. On the one end of the spectrum, your complete ticker or graphics display could have one sponsor.
On the other end, you could have a different sponsor for every logical segment of display. These could be broken down by:
- Time of day – Your automated graphics system should include a scheduler. This would allow you to automatically generate a different look for your evening and morning broadcasts, for example. This scheduler would also be able to schedule the generation of sponsorship.
- Topic – Your scheduler for the graphics could allow you to set up specific times for generation of specific sponsors so that they are tied to certain topics. For example, you could have a sponsor for weather and a different one for news or sports scores.
- Show segmented – If you schedule GPI’s in your automation system, these can be used to automatically trigger your sponsor graphics in and out.
- Enabled/Disabled playlist records – Your scheduler or authoring tool for your automated graphics system should provide simple controls that allow you to enable or disable specified sponsor logos for display as needed.
- ‘Intelligent’ show segmented - You can use a more sophisticated approach by using a VDS Promotor system to provide the automated graphics system with even greater granularity regarding the program content. This would allow you to have segment specific sponsors without having to make big changes to your traffic and automation workflow.
For example, if you have a show segment coming up on the NFL, the system could look for specific house IDs for scheduled content. When that content plays out, regardless of when it’s been scheduled, the system will automatically get a sponsor logo that’s sold for that content.
In this way, you could easily have a sponsor for NFL and other ones for NBA and NHL, for example, giving you more opportunities for sponsorship.
You could even use the sponsoring opportunities as a value-add for clients who place commercial spots with you, thereby giving your ad sales people a new way to package or bundle their products.
As described in the our blog post, “How to Sync Sports or News Ticker Sponsors with Commercial Spots”, your sponsor logos could be in sync with your commercial spots as shown here:
As-Run Log Reports
You’ll want your automated graphic system to generated As-Run Log reports so that you can provide information to your customers indicating when their sponsorship ran. It also should serve to give you an overall idea of what the total sponsor revenue is for your system.
In sum, your automated graphic system can be a great source of revenue. However, you want to ensure the system allows you to sell and fulfill these sponsorships with ease. You should be able to add new sponsors without your staff or customers having to jump through hoops to achieve this. And you should also be able to generate As-Run Log reports so that you can provide you clients with feedback.
If you’d like to hear more about how VDS provides these functions in our News Ticker, Sports Ticker or L-Bar systems, please let us know.
We will be happy to help.