Local events play into sponsorships: Cashing in on some frozen assets up north

Apr 1, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Capitalizing on uniquely Alaskan events is one thing that drives advertisers in Anchorage, Alaska. For example, last month NBC affiliate KTUU-TV aired “Yukon Quest,” an annual dog sled race between Alaska and Canada. The Canadian tourism board and the race committee bought airtime on the station. KTUU General Sales Manager Andy MacLeod said the station will offer advertisers the chance to buy spots during next year’s race.
“As a station, we’ve been doing some interesting things with special campaigns to generate revenue,” Mr. MacLeod said. “Alaska had nine athletes in the Winter Olympics. That’s like California having 100. We sponsored that coverage and sent a reporter down there. There were special sports sponsorships that advertisers bought that included Olympics in the package.”
KTUU has also finished a half-hour documentary on extreme skiing to air in April called “The Arctic Man.” KTUU is still negotiating with advertisers to sponsor the documentary.
General Manager Laurie Bruce at Fox affiliate KTBY-TV sells spots for KTBY and CBS affiliate KTVA-TV through a joint sales agreement. “Know Your Snow,” a popular news segment sponsored by advertisers, ran each day for one week on both stations during the February book. It sold out quickly, she said. “It was a safety series about how to stay alive if someone is stuck in the back country and what to do in an avalanche. So that’s something we’re going to do more of in the future-special reports.”
Bradley Reid, Alaska’s largest and oldest ad agency, just finished a sponsorship for the Olympics with Burger King that President and CEO Connie Reid said was a “huge success.” Bradley Reid has also worked on a sponsorship deal with KTUU in which Phillips Alaska, the largest oil company in the state, sponsors the nightly “Washington Report,” which runs in the weekday 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.
“I think that prior to Sept. 11, spots purchased were down, but our market was somewhat isolated. Usually if there is a downturn in the lower 48 states, our economy is stable,” Ms. Reid said.
According to BIA Financial Network, Anchorage TV revenues were $23.9 million for 2001 and are expected to be $25.8 million in 2002. Top ad categories are auto, furniture telecommunications and fast food.