Power of Scotland – Commonwealth Games 2014

With 2014 round the corner, hopes remain high of a continued recovery across media, as improvements in the economy, the prospects of World Cup fuelling marketing activity and the big media services groups anticipate positive growth across sectors.

Expectation in the OOH sector

Expectation in the OOH sector remains bullish as digital, display, mobile and 2014 events fuel growth. Talon estimates the OOH market could grow 5%, to over 1 billion, with digital OOH also lifted by a strong combination of media owner investment and audience-led planning.

But for Scotland, 2014 is a real year of opportunity. Despite not qualifying for the World Cup carnival in Rio, activities north of the border will centre around three key events that will have a significant effect on the media landscape and the country’s engagement with brands and the wider economy.

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The Referendum will polarise opinion, but galvanise Scotland into a consciousness that will drive expression and enthusiasm across political spend, word of mouth and social debate.

The Ryder Cup golf event also comes to Gleneagles in 2014. Few events generate the collective competitive excitement of this tournament, and will make Scotland the centre of attention again next autumn.

But it is the Commonwealth Games that will truly showcase the landscape of Glasgow and present an opportunity for brands to use the many local media assets that will reflect the 524 million investment in infrastructure.

The Commonwealth Games takes place in Glasgow from 23rd July to 3rd August 2014. 4,500 athletes from 71 nations will compete in 17 sports across the city. The nations and territories competing represent a third of the world’s population and athletes of the calibre of Mo Farrah, Laura Trott and Usain Bolt could well be competing. A global audience of 1.5 billion is expected to tune in; one million tickets have already been sold and 1,044 staff and 15,000 volunteers recruited.

A process similar (but on a much smaller scale) to the London Olympics will govern the sale of advertising and other commercial opportunities around the Games, to protect the commercial rights and benefits of sponsors.

All contractors with Scottish OOH locations within Event Zones will put their inventory into a ballot for official Games partners and sponsors to bid for, with first refusal. After all bidding has taken place, any unsold locations will be released to market for other advertisers to purchase.

The full auction process (in effect, sealed bids) lasts from the 6th – 24th January 2014, within which time frame there are opportunities to bid for both packages and specific one-off locations. Tier 1 sponsors will have priority until Friday 10th.

Talon has evaluated all media owner packs and each has been given a recommendation dependent on content of the pack, value and our view of any over-inflation and on prime locations. Please contact us for full details and see our Commonwealth Games briefing document.

Thereafter, unsold packages will be released back onto the open market, where normal trading conditions will apply and rates are likely to be considerably reduced. The inventory within packages will be released back to a line-by-line purchase process. It is likely that the premium roadside market, Glasgow station domination (rail & UG) and roadside digital will all sell well. For sponsors and regular advertisers alike, it is important to get a full understanding of the process now and to devise a clear strategy around Outdoor media.

The events in Scotland plus 2014 factors like the economic recovery, the World Cup, developments in digital OOH, technology advances and a more audience-focused trading approach, will create an exciting opportunity for Games sponsors (like SSE and Virgin Media) and for longer term OOH advertisers keen to capitalise on an existing presence across what promises to be a landmark year for Scotland.