MCLEAN, Va., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY will begin a strategic expansion of its iconic Ad Meter platform beyond Super Bowl advertising this year by engaging its online panel to determine the year's 'best of the best' in sports, both on and off the field.
Ad Meter: Year In Sports will encompass rankings across a range of sports categories—both advertising- and non-advertising related—as determined by the Ad Meter panel vote. The Ad Meter panel will be recruited during the month of November, with eligibility open to both current members and new participants.
Also throughout the month of November, the Ad Meter: Year In Sports' digital platform will profile the top categories via video, editorial and consumer social sentiment. During the first week in December, the panel will vote across categories with all final results being revealed on Monday, December 9, 2013. After the official panel results are revealed, USA TODAY Sports will honor winners across categories and look back at the top moments of 2013 with an industry event held in New York City.
This marks just the fourth time in its 25-year history, and the first time since 1997, that USA TODAY has utilized its Ad Meter platform beyond the Super Bowl. The previous Ad Meter expansions came in 1996, in conjunction with the Summer Olympics, and in 1997, surrounding the series finale of "Seinfeld."
This will mark the first time that the Ad Meter panel will be utilized to rank non-advertising topics, including "Best Athlete Endorsement," "Most Impactful Sports Story (off the field)," "Funniest Tweet by an Athlete" and "Most Dramatic Sports Moment of the Year," as well as other engaging categories that capture the year in sports and fuel the national conversation around it.
"Ad Meter: Year In Sports represents an important step in the continued growth of the Ad Meter franchise and the online panel associated with it," said Tom Beusse, president of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. "Instead of limiting Ad Meter's impact to one moment on the sports calendar, we're expanding its footprint to include the best moments from throughout, and casting a wider net in order to engage more consumers. Not only is this an important step, but it's the first major step in our plan to expand Ad Meter to cover sports, entertainment and lifestyle events and to create meaningful additional touch points for advertisers and consumers alike."
Ad Meter's new digital hub, which debuted during Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in February, drove significant success for the franchise with double and triple digit growth in audience and engagement traffic from the previous year.
The USA TODAY Sports Media Group encompasses all sports initiatives across USA TODAY, as well as Gannett Co., Inc.'s 81 community newspaper properties and 23 broadcast television stations. It also includes the sports photography service USA TODAY Sports Images, USA TODAY High School Sports and USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).
SOURCE USA TODAY Sports