Philadelphia-based sponsorship evaluation firm Front Row Marketing calculated expected game mentions, exterior and interior arena signage and on screen text. They then translated the exposure time to what a 30-second ad costs for the Finals, roughly $450,000.
Front Row Marketing's Eric Smallwood took into account the placement of the signs inside each arena and told CNBC that every game in Dallas would be worth $10,515,000 to American Airlines and every game in Miami would be worth $10,729,500, thanks in part to a larger "AA" logo on the center scoreboard.
That means if the finals is a sweep, the airline would get $42 million in equivalent advertising time, the exact amount the American Airlines paid for 20 years of rights to the Miami arena. If the series goes seven games, Smallwood calculates that American will get $95.9 million in exposure.
American's main hub is in Dallas, but Smallwood says the sponsorship is even more valuable because so is its competitor Southwest, who just happens to the be the official airline of the NBA.
It should be interesting to see if American does any extra advertising. In 2006, American dubbed the Finals the "All American Series" and had promotions for Heat and Mavericks fans. American also gave away round trip airfare to four lucky fans to travel to Finals games on the road.
American is the nation's third largest airline. Earlier this month, the airline said that it experienced passenger growth in April everywhere but in the US.
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