September 29, 2022

The Local Event Brand Halo

Connecting with Engaged Local Audiences


Disney Advertising

Brands are always looking to build a stronger connection with consumers through meaningful sponsorships. With this in mind, Disney sought to explore the value and impact of participating in televised and streamed local events by commissioning a custom study with Nielsen Scarborough across ABC’s eight owned TV station markets. Specifically, we wanted to get a clearer picture of the audience that’s tuning into local events, their motivations for watching, and the impact on brand sponsors.

Here’s a look at what we learned:

Local Events are a Hit

Televised and streamed local events have proven to be a great option for those who cannot attend an event in-person. In fact, 64% of consumers who are interested in local events would tune in virtually if they couldn’t attend an event in-person. When asked if their feelings about their community changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers who attend or watch local events are 11% more likely to feel a deeper connection to their community compared to the average adult in their market.

They’re interested in watching a range of televised and streamed events including festivals (67%), seasonal events (56%), charity events, (36%), trade shows (35%), diversity events and parades (33%) and races (26%).

Local Attendees and Viewers are an Important Audience

We wanted to better understand the audience that’s regularly attending or watching local events. Our analysis shows that they’re more likely to be upscale (mean household income of $90k+), multicultural, parents, college educated, business decision makers and adopters of new technology compared to those who do not seek local events.

They’re also civic-minded, meaning that they’re focused on supporting their community in several ways like buying locally grown food and caring for the environment.

They Watch for Self-Enrichment and Connection

Viewers see a lot of value in attending and watching local events. Most notably, we see that viewers are tuning in to enrich their lives:

0 %
Stay Entertained
0 %
Try New Things
0 %
Stay Active
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Be Inspired

They’re also engaging in local events as a means of connection:

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Support Community
0 %
Learn More About My Community
0 %
Feel Closer to My Community
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Meet and Learn About People Who Are Different From Me

There’s a Halo Effect for Event Sponsors

Consumers love of local events stretches to sponsors too. Those who attend or watch these events show a great deal of gratitude for brands that sponsor events in their communities. When asked how they feel about local event sponsors, the #1 descriptor was appreciative (53%).

Among Local Event Attendees and Viewers:

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Notice Brand
0 %
Have a Positive Opinion of Brand Sponsors
0 %
Notice Brand Sponsors
0 %
Have a Positive Opinion of Brand Sponsors
In addition to feeling appreciative, they feel connected to brands that make their presence felt in their community (59%) and feel that community focused advertising efforts get their attention more effectively than general messaging (65%).

Event Sponsors See Results 
Across the Purchase Funnel

Local event attendees and viewers are inclined to take actionable next steps after encountering brand sponsors. From an upper sales funnel perspective, 56% seek more information about the sponsors and learn more from visiting their websites/social media profiles. At the lower funnel, roughly 3-in-5 consider or purchase the brand’s products or services.

Key Advertiser Takeaways

Local events are a ‘win’ for consumers as well as advertisers. Consumers value local events both for their personal enjoyment and as a means of connection. Meanwhile, local event sponsors are noticed, appreciated and pursued by attendees and viewers.

To learn more about advertising opportunities during entertainment event specials, reach out to your Disney Advertising sales representative.

Source: Nielsen Scarborough Recontact Survey – Local Events (2021 Release 1). Base: ABC Owned TV Markets (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, Fresno)