Press Releases

Rubicon Project Teams with Leading Global Publishers to Provide Advertisers Greater Access to Summer Olympics Fans

June 8, 2016

Results of new survey show for the first time Summer Olympics fans are taking charge of how and where they consume content. 8 out of 10 millennials plan to watch online or via mobile device, bringing more addressable content opportunities to the Olympics than ever before.

LOS ANGELES–June 8, 2016–With only two months until the torch is lit in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI), which operates one of the largest advertising marketplaces in the world, today announced the launch of its Olympics advertising marketplace where it has made available Olympics-specific inventory packages from leading publishers around the world, including Condé Nast and USA TODAY NETWORK, among others. With a combined publisher reach of over 100 million monthly sports uniques, Rubicon Project’s Olympics advertising marketplace represents the first in a series of sports marketing initiatives the company will be rolling out throughout the rest of the year that focus on targeting the modern-day, highly-engaged sports fan.

As part of this announcement, Condé Nast is debuting the first in a series of advertising packages centered around ‘key consumer moments’ with Olympics-specific packages that will be made available via Rubicon Project’s leading Guaranteed Orders platform. This is the first time Condé Nast has enabled advertisers to target audiences across their digital network for specific events such as the Olympics in a programmatic fashion.

Evan Adlman, head of programmatic for Condé Nast, commented, “With the Summer Olympics poised to be one of the most-watched sporting events of all time, we could not think of a more perfect time to launch our ‘key consumer moments’ campaign, which highlights major events throughout the year where consumers are most engaged with their favorite brands. Partnering with Rubicon Project to offer up this inventory programmatically allows buyers to reach the highly engaged Olympics audience across all of our brands, through a singular platform.”

Rubicon Project is also unveiling the findings from a new survey of more than 1,000 sports fans that outlines how the changing ways consumers are engaging with content is making this year’s games the first “anytime, anywhere” Olympics, plotting a clear roadmap for advertisers eager to engage these fans.

While 87 percent of sports fans plan to watch the Summer Olympics, the way in which they consume Olympics content will undergo dramatic change as mobile and online video draw millions of eyeballs away from traditional television viewing providing both content creators and advertisers significant new opportunities to reach Olympics fans. For example, 79 percent of millennials plan to cut the cord and watch the Olympics live online and 7 out of 10 plan to watch on their mobile device, furthering the “always on” evolution of today’s fans.

“As we head into one of the most highly anticipated summer sports calendars in recent memory, we remain focused on providing the consumer insights and technology necessary to support publishers and app developers deliver the most engaging and value-driven content in the world, while also providing brands and advertisers with new opportunities to reach and engage sports fans globally,” commented Harry Patz, Chief Revenue Officer, Rubicon Project. “Sports inventory has, and continues to be, in incredible demand and that demand will increase significantly as today’s digitally-inclined fans take control of how and where they consume content, turning to online and mobile content. This research and our new publisher fan engagement packages provide advertisers with a comprehensive roadmap for effectively targeting and reaching the always on sports fan.”

The survey also highlighted a key insight for brands seeking to reach the majority of Olympics fans who plan to use a connected device while watching television. This includes 8 out of 10 millennials who will have a second screen open “most of the time” they watch the Olympics and will spend most of their second screen time consuming content related to what is on the television. This is a powerful opportunity for brands to reach consumers in far more targeted and personally relevant ways.

“The Summer Olympics represent the first time the Games have truly become a 24/7 experience, with hundreds of millions of connected “always on” sports fans just as likely to watch an event on television as they are to stream a game online from work or watch a highlight clip on their mobile device from the road,” said Dallas Lawrence, Chief Communications Officer, Rubicon Project. “The way fans are watching sports today is changing significantly – no one network or publisher completely owns the Olympics anymore, which provides an incredible opportunity for both advertisers and publishers to go for the gold by creating compelling content and targeted advertising for audiences that are seeking deeper connectivity in real time with the sports, athletes, scores and cultural news related to the world’s largest sporting event.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Ratings Gold — 87 percent of sports fans plan to follow the Olympics; 3 in 5 sports fans plan to follow the Olympics online
  • Millennials Mean Digital — 81% of Millennial sports fans plan to consume Olympics content online, while over 7 in 10 plan to watch on their mobile device
  • Second Screen Presents a Second Chance to Win — 57% of Olympic followers note they have a second screen open when watching sports some of the time; Millennial Olympic fans are more than twice as likely to have a second screen open “most or all of the time” compared to Non-Millennials (82% vs. 48%)
  • Streaming is Picking up Speed — 44% of Olympic followers plan to watch the Games streaming live on their computer or mobile device; 79% of Millennials plan to cut the cord and watch live online
  • The Fans are in Control — 3 out of 10 regularly watch sports from work; most (69%) will watch the Olympics during prime time coverage; a near majority plan to consume content late into the evening with nearly 7 out of 10 planning to watch on both weekdays and weekends
  • Higher Income + Higher Education = Digitally Inclined — Over 50% of Olympic Followers have an annual household income above $50K (57% vs. 32% Non-Followers) and a college or graduate degree (51% vs. 28% Non-Followers)

Survey Methodology

Rubicon Project engaged global polling firm Penn Schoen Berland to conduct 1,105 interviews (MOE ±2.95%) among sports fans in the US who self-identified as die-hard or avid fans. The interviews were conducted from May 21st to May 23rd, 2016.


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