By the Staff of NYSportsJournalism.com
January 11, 2016: AT&T got a nice chunk of media value change — more than $46.7 million — on Jan. 12, 2015, during the ESPN telecast of the college football National Championship Game won by Ohio State, according to Front Row Analytics.
Not only was the National Championship Game played in AT&T Stadium — home to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys — but it was presented by AT&T, the start of a distinct year for the telecom company. Marketing support included TV spots with four college football (and later NFL) legends: Doug Fluite, Bo Jackson, Joe Montana and Herschel Walker.
AT&T, an official "corporate champion" partner with the NCAA since 2007, then used its presence as a major player during basketball's March Madness to tout its message of having the "strongest 4G LTE signal."
Marketing featured four men who played in the NBA following stellar roles in past NCAA Tournaments: Shaquille O'Neal, Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler, Christian Laettner. The multi-media campaign was anchored by TV spots from BBDO Worldwide siblings BBDO NY and BBDO Atlanta.
AT&T platforms such as the U-Verse app enabled people to watch live NCAA March Madness games on their TV, computer, tablet or smartphone. It came with a stand-alone integrated campaign, "Where Will You Be?"
In September, AT&T returned full-force to the 2015 college football season with a continuation of its "Legends" college football campaign, this time starring a group of football icons who competed in a series of physical and mental challenges to determine which one would be strong enough to watch the College Football Playoff with Bo Jackson at his house.
AT&T's overall measured-media marketing budget tops $3 billion, according to Kantar Media, NY, and other marketing and research firms. AT&T spends the second-most on sponsorships in college sports behind Nike, according to a new report from marketing and research from IEG, Chicago.
In July, AT&T completed its acquisition of DirecTV, and now provides service to more than 26 million customers in the U.S.; more than 191 million customers in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean; more than 132 million wireless subscribers and connections in the U.S. and Mexico; and offering 4G LTE mobile coverage to nearly 310 million people in the U.S.
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