By Barry Janoff
October 22, 2015: The Buffalo Bills may be 3-3 and the Jacksonville Jaguars are struggling at 1-5, but some three dozen marketers — led by Dairy Queen and Toyota — are on-board for their NFL game this Sunday.
The key selling point? Not that the game is being played in London's Wembley Stadium as part of the NFL's International Series, but that it will be the first global live stream of a regular season NFL game across connected devices via Yahoo! (Oct. 25, 9:30 AM ET/2:30 PM London time).
Yahoo!’s live stream will feature video advertising from top brands during commercial breaks, as well as exclusive pre-game and halftime presenting sponsorships.
Dairy Queen is the pre-game show sponsor on Yahoo!, and Toyota will sponsor the halftime show.
In addition, advertisers include American Express, Applebee’s, Arby's, Bose, Burlington Stores, Cadillac, Chrysler, CiCi’s Pizza, Citi, CompareCards.com, Danone Nations Cup, eHealth.com, Emirates Airline, Esurance, KFC, Kohl’s, Lincoln, Microsoft, Nationwide, Papa John's, Redd's Apple Ale, Snickers, Subway Restaurants, T-Mobile and Totino’s.
Yahoo! paid some $20 million for the rights to stream the game, according to industry analysts. Yahoo! is said to be guaranteeing 3.5 million live streams in the U.S.
Yahoo! has created a dedicated Web portal and also is supporting with social media, including a #WatchWithTheWorld platform on Twitter.
Yahoo! was initially charging $200,000 for a 30-second ad, but cut that to $100,000, according to Reuters. Industry analysts say the cost may have dropped to $50,000 this week.
The Bills-Jaguars game will be made available across multiple properties, including Yahoo!, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Screen, and Tumblr, which reach more than one billion monthly users, per Yahoo!.
The game will also be televised in the both the Buffalo and Jacksonville markets.
"We're thrilled to have some of the world’s top brands working with Yahoo! to engage NFL fans around this historic live stream," Lisa Utzschneider, chief revenue officer for Yahoo!, said in a statement. "We’ve created a new way for viewers to enjoy one of their favorite sports live on Yahoo!, along with amazing opportunities for advertisers to reach these digital fans whether they watch on their desktop, smartphone, tablet or connected TV."
According to Yahoo!, marketers were able to buy global or U.S. only ads. Yahoo! said all ad space had been sold.
The game will be produced by CBS.
Beyond the live stream, advertisers will be able to "leverage Yahoo’s demographic and viewership data for retargeting at scale to engage their audiences with display, video, native and search advertising across Yahoo’s properties," according to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm.
In related news, the NFL said today that it has extended its agreement to play regular-season games at London’s Wembley Stadium for an additional five years, meaning that at least two games per year will be played at Wembley through 2020. The NFL said that Jaguars-Bills game will be the 13th game played in London and will see the one-millionth NFL fan through the turnstiles.
"We’ve created a new way for viewers to enjoy one of their favorite sports live on Yahoo!, along with opportunities for advertisers to reach these digital fans."
The Jaguars are in the third year of a four-year commitment to play one home game in London per year and have also extended that agreement through 2020.
"The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said when the Yahoo! deal was unveiled this past June. "Through this partnership with Yahoo! — one of the world's most recognizable digital brands — we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape."
The NFL said it would leverage Yahoo!'s global audience, digital advertising capabilities and delivery platforms, which span desktop, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and set-top boxes "to ensure that the Bills-Jaguars game is accessible on every screen globally."