Trumpeting its ratings success with upscale men, The History Channel is in the midst of a major push to increase affiliate ad sales among clients seeking to reach that demo, via sports featurettes.
A&E Television Networks vice president of local ad sales Andrea Gonzalez said the network has developed a vignette package titled "The History Channel Presents the Greatest Moments in UCLA Athletics," in association with Adlink and the Pacific-10 Athletic Conference.
The Los Angeles interconnect — which will produce this series of 30-second, taggable featurettes that showcase such University of California, Los Angeles greats as Jackie Robinson and Arthur Ashe — is now out pitching the series to prospective sponsors.
"We're planning to go beyond [Adlink in L.A.] next year" to develop similar packages with other states' collegiate teams, Gonzalez said.
About 70 percent of History's audience is male, and the bulk of those viewers are aged 25 to 54, according to Gonzalez.
Earlier this year, Adlink and History collaborated on another package of vignettes, "The History Channel L.A. Sports Trivia Challenge." That package was initially sponsored by Verizon Communications, and later by DaimlerChrysler Corp. and General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet.
The challenge consisted of trivia questions about local sports teams, players and events, including the reigning National Basketball Association champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Adlink senior vice president of marketing and communications Vicki Lins described both sets of History featurettes as "an additional way to effectively target a male demographic."
All told, History is a major sponsor of 18 sports teams in six major cities.
"We'll definitely try to match up [with those] wherever possible" with future local cable featurettes, Gonzalez said.
Besides the Lakers, History-sponsored teams include New York's NBA Knicks and Major League Baseball Yankees and Mets, as well as the National Football League's Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins.