Marketing and sport: which industries benefit most from big events?

Jul 4, 2018 | Content marketing, Online advertising, Online video, Viral and buyrals

Brands selling everything from recipe books to video games are set to win big during this summer’s sports season, as major sporting events boost online traffic across a broad range of sites, according to new research.

Traffic on cooking and recipe sites more than doubled (up 105%) during this year’s legendary Champions League Final, compared to the two weeks before – suggesting that it’s not just brands selling shirts, boots and balls that are set to benefit from football mania.

Meanwhile, the first few days of the 2018 French Open saw traffic for technology and computer sites increase by a staggering 113% and 158%, respectively, compared to two weeks prior to the event. On this basis, Wimbledon – kicking off today – could be a grand slam for advertisers targeting a technology audience.

And while Silverstone’s British Grand Prix next month will inevitably drive motorheads online, The Trade Desk’s data reveals that racing inspires travel too. Traffic on travel-related sites rose 36% during May’s Monaco Grand Prix, compared to the previous fortnight, as the glamourous international tour lured spectators into thinking about their next trip abroad.

Sacha Berlik, Managing Director for EMEA at The Trade Desk, commented: “From the Tour de France to the Taekwondo World Championship, our data shows that major sporting events can have a knock-on effect on a number of – often quite surprising – different categories. With the summer of sport set to dominate our screens over the next few weeks, many brands stand to benefit from the inflated audiences created by these occasions. And by using smart insights like these ones, advertisers will be able pinpoint exactly where to reach them with helpful and inspiring messages.”

The Trade Desk’s data also reveals that:

  • During this year’s PGA Championship, traffic on video game sites rose 31% and film-related sites increased 34%, compared to the previous two weeks
  • During the first cricket test match with Pakistan earlier this spring, traffic on real estate sites doubled (up 101%)


The Trade Desk analysed online traffic during the French Open (27th – 31st May 2018), Champions League Final (26th May 2018), Pakistan vs England test match (24th – 28th May), Monaco Grand Prix (25th – 27th May) and PGA Championship (24th – 27th May). This data was then compared to the two weeks prior to the events.

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