Nexstar Expands Tentpole Sponsorship Opportunities to Include The CW, NewsNation and The Hill

By Nexstar InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Nexstar Expands Tentpole Sponsorship Opportunities to Include The CW, NewsNation and The Hill

For the past six years, Nexstar Media Group has established four multi-platform tentpole programming initiatives running coast to coast in 116 markets across its 200 owned or partner stations. Now, for the first time, these programs will be supported by its national media properties: The CW, NewsNation and The Hill.

The four campaigns begin in October with "Veterans Voices: Honoring Those Who Serve." This month-long initiative leading up to Veterans Day will then be followed by "Remarkable Women" (December 2023 to April 2024), "Honoring Black History" (February 2024), and "Hispanic Heritage Month" (September-October 2024).

These programs are built to celebrate the communities in which Nexstar operates as well as deliver impactful and customizable sponsorship opportunities for national, regional and local advertisers. Nexstar embraces the communities in which it operates and prides itself on community engagement. For example, every station serves its local community through service on non-profit boards, sponsorship of community organizations, promotion of giving and in many other ways.

"Embracing the communities in which we serve is a fundamental mission at Nexstar," explains Dennis Cook (pictured at top), Nexstar Media Group's Senior Vice President of Ad Sales Marketing & Solutions. "The engagement level we get from our audiences with these programs has been incredible. We're now expanding these programs to The CW, NewsNation and The Hill, which will allow sponsors of these programs to connect to an even broader audience. By bringing together our local and national media properties, we can now bring a brand's story to life in a unique and powerful way, and on a much bigger stage."

At the local Nexstar station level, the elements of each campaign include local newscast reports and special feature profiles, 30-or-60-minute specials airing across 200 stations, as well as content hubs for each initiative across all station websites.

On the national level, The CW will leverage its on-air talent and lineup of entertainment and sports programming to produce a series of documentary-style spotlights, clip-driven vignettes and customized digital content hubs.

NewsNation will expand its programming and devote a series of news segments to each tentpole theme, as well as produce character vignettes celebrating local and national heroes from communities across the country.

The Hill will support each tentpole with thought leadership, custom branded content series and special events to engage its highly influential audience.

Notably, for the first time since the programs were launched, Nexstar is offering exclusive naming rights for national sponsors of the Tentpoles, with sponsor branding across all program elements.

Early reaction from advertisers regarding these sponsorship opportunities has been very positive, notes Cook. "National scale and local impact are what we can bring to an advertiser with these campaigns," he says. "Across television, streaming and digital, we're uniquely positioned to deliver on that promise. We have the strategic and creative capabilities in-house to deliver world-class solutions and bringing these opportunities to market at this important time has been very exciting."

When it comes to integrating sponsors in each of the media properties, the strategy will be the same as what drives Nexstar's ad sales business: client first. "We always want to learn about the client's business and what their campaign objectives are," Cook explains. "That's the key part of our philosophy. We do that with a full-funnel marketing approach -- awareness, consideration, purchase intent and, ultimately, sales. For example, if they're looking to build (product or service) awareness, we can look at our broadcast properties, local and national, to figure out what makes the most sense for building broad awareness in the client's target markets.

"We also look at OTT/CTV because we can do highly effective audience targeting with first-party, second-party and third-party data," he adds. "OTT/CTV is very effective at delivering incremental reach and driving business outcomes.  It also allows us to clearly measure the impact of the campaign through our attribution capabilities."

Nexstar is also open to creating community events and unique tie-ins with national institutions like this past year’s partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

"It goes back to what is relevant to the community and making sure the advertisers' objectives align with the program," Cook notes. "We can also customize each sponsorship to ensure the advertiser’s message is communicated in an authentic way. We can heavy up in one area, or pull back on another, based on ensuring the best fit."

Cook maintains that a strong level of partnership among advertisers, agencies and Nexstar is important to get the most out of these projects. "It's all about putting these brands front and center in the best possible light to move their business forward," he concludes. "We all have to be working in lockstep to achieve success. We must think strategically and creatively to make sure the message gets communicated to the right audience at the right time.  Authenticity is the key to success."

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