May 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM
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Here's Why Every Big Media Company Now Wants To Get In The Sponsorship Game..

Added value events are nothing new to old media, but it sure seems that "sponsorship" is the term du jour for media companies looking to sell brands on a mix of what traditional sponsorship professionals would see as primarily ad-based assets. This leaves some in the industry scratching their head. It's almost like advertiser has become a bad word so the next best thing is sponsor. Joe NeCastro, chief financial and administrative officer of Scripps Networks, which owns major titles like HGTV and Food Network, recently explained why sponsorships are so important to the media business. Not only do they help justify premium ad pricing, but unlike commercial spots they're "non-cancellable."

NeCastro explains...

"[Sponsorship] is not something that you can uniquely and discreetly pull out because it also helps secure other advertising. For instance, in the Dream Home, which is our biggest special, if you will, of the year on any of our networks, the advertisers that are in the Dream Home are there because of a significant commitment to Dream Home and other commitments as well and it helps drive other business, particularly due to the fact that it's non-cancelable. And so, to put a hard number on it, it wouldn't be easy other than to say that it's a significant reason why we tend to outperform our peers based on our premium pricing, or the high quality of our audience and our ability to tie our endemic advertisers into these programs that are non-cancelable and really can help support us through challenging quarters."