- Comcast’s NBCUniversal launched a content-and-commerce website with Golf Channel, which gives brands an opportunity to reach large, targeted audiences and shoppers the chance to engage with brands, shows, personalities and more, the Golf Channel reported. Additional marketplaces from NBCU are reportedly in the works.
- Shop with Golf launches with 30 brands, including William Murray Golf, founded by comedian Bill Murray and his five brothers. Murray and his brothers created a music video, as well as a 30-second commercial set to run on NBCU properties, according to a The Wall Street Journal report. In the spot, Murray evaluates his golf performance, a joke among golfers who often inflate their scores.
- The e-commerce site will offer different shopping experiences, including letting people shop by destination and offering an on-site shoppable magazine, "The Links List." Shoppable categories, like apparel, accessories, beauty, home, wellness and travel will support customized original content and video series, including "Links to Drinks" and "Caddie Codes," according to the Golf Channel. NBCU will take a cut from the sales of products on the platform, but didn’t disclose what its revenue share will be, per the Journal.
NBCUniversal’s new e-commerce marketplace is part of the network’s efforts to create new revenue streams and attract brands that aren’t investing as much in traditional TV ads, according to the Journal. National linear TV ad revenue was projected to grow just 1% in 2018, as ad prices remain high and audiences decline, according to Magna.
The site has a strong visual component, showcasing the fashion and lifestyle side of golf. It comes as more brands, including broadcasters, are responding to the growing amount of time consumers spend on digital channels while also showing less interest in traditional programming and ads. By combining compelling content with e-commerce, NBCUniversal hopes to keep golf enthusiasts engaged while driving revenue through e-commerce sales.
Partnering with Bill Murray on a humorous campaign to promote the site shows how broadcasters can find synergies between digital and traditional media channels. The campaign could resonate with golfers and attract users to the new platform as humor and celebrity appearances often spark an emotional connection with consumers, helping brands increase sales and boost awareness.
The news also points to how linear TV continues to borrow from digital platforms. OTT video streaming platforms already offer shoppable experiences to combine content and e-commerce. For example, Walmart’s video streaming platform Vudu planned a shoppable video ad format for its free, ad-supported Movies On Us service, giving viewers the ability to purchase from Walmart.com. Amazon announced a shoppable experience for an upcoming fashion competition series with former “Project Runway” stars Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum.
The Golf Channel shoppable platform followers other new products from NBCU. The company unveiled a Prime Pod, a 60-second ad segment running during the first or last commercial break of a primetime show and open to just two advertisers. Brands that participated in Prime Pod saw 28% higher engagement than traditional ads, 27% greater ad awareness and 21% higher brand interest, according to an Ameritest study.