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What Does College Conference Realignment Have to Do with Marketing?
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What Does College Conference Realignment Have to Do with Marketing?

What Does College Conference Realignment Have to Do with Marketing?

The University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas announced they are leaving the Big 12 Conference to join the SEC in 2025. This has sparked a ton of internet rumors about the next domino to fall. Such as, Clemson and Florida State will be leaving the ACC to join the SEC. Or that Ohio State and Michigan are leaving the Big 10 Conference to join the SEC. But what does any of this have to do with marketing your business? Everything.

First look at the trends about how people are consuming media. Leichtman Research Group, Inc. released a study that showed TV providers lost 4.9 million net video subscribers in 2019, pre-pandemic. That means close to five million subscribers stopped paying for cable or satellite. Horowitz Research showed in 2020 that two in five TV viewers over the age of 18 now own an antenna. That is 40% of the TV viewers who are watching TV over-the-air. And internet TV, or what the industry calls OTT for “over-the-top,” viewership is growing. Zurora’s Subscription Economy Index Report shows that global subscription rates grew 7x in March of 2020 compared to the previous 12 months.

We are moving from a taxation model to an à la carte model. When we all paid for cable, we paid for all the channels. That is a taxation model, in the same way your local taxes pay for all the streets in your city, not just the streets you drive on. So, every subscriber paid $7 per month to get ESPN, regardless of if they watched the channel.

But now we live in an à la carte world. Consumers only want to pay for the content they want to watch.

But now we live in an à la carte world. Consumers only want to pay for the content they want to watch. But the cost of production and the cost to acquire content are not going down. ESPN must find another way to keep the cash flow going. What does ESPN do? They look to the model laid out by their parent company Disney.

Before launching Disney+, the mouse ears went on a spending spree and purchased Marvel, Star Wars, and 20th Century Fox, among other brands. Disney built a huge library of content that they offer the consumer access to for $7 a month. You may only want to watch Star Wars movies, but for $7 a month you get Star Wars, Disney’s own original content, Marvel and everything else. Basically, Disney created a new taxation model, one that they control.

ESPN wants to do the same. Pick up all the major sporting brands and have all the content available under the ESPN+ umbrella. Sports is tribal, meaning you want to follow your team and may not necessarily care about someone else’s team. But if your team is part of the bundle, you will pay the monthly fee. Taxation model.

What does this have to do with marketing your business? You need to understand the trends to know how and where to spend your marketing dollars. Consider spending some advertising dollars on broadcast TV where 40% of the viewers are watching on a regular basis. Also know that in the world of subscription TV, there is less room for traditional commercials. That is why you must look at content marketing as an option. Create content for your website and social media. For more on content marketing, check out our website where we show you examples and have written blogs about how to get started.

You may not be a college sports fan, but the college conference realignment is just another sign that the world of media is changing. As a business owner you need to know how to use the changes to your advantage, or hire an agency to follow the trends to help you.

Scott Miller is the CEO of Centerpost Media and host of the Create, Build and Manage Radio Show and Podcast. You can find Scott on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via “@scottmillerceo.” Centerpost Media is a marketing agency with a vision to help every business they encounter with their media needs by providing outstanding quality, service and value. Centerpost Media is the parent company to BizTV, BizTalkRadio, BizTalkPodcasts and Bizvod.