The Offering Unlocks Exclusive Inventory for Partners to Seamlessly Reach Fans on Bleacher Report and House of Highlights
Warner Bros. Discovery today announced its six-second pre-roll ad product, a consumer-focused offering that has been in-market generating success for partners across WBD digital properties including Bleacher Report and House of Highlights. The product soft launched in Q1 2023 with strategic clients including Vivid Seats. Since its introduction to the wider marketplace in Q2, additional premium clients have tapped into the six-second ad tied to the biggest games and sports moments, as well as highlights, polls, live video, recaps and episode clips that serve as cultural touchpoints for fans.
In time for the 2023 NBA Draft on June 22, House of Highlights’ Through the Wire Live Draft Show will launch the six-second product with Straight Talk, the no-contract wireless service owned by Verizon. The partnership includes a custom pre-roll spot featuring show hosts Kenny Beecham, Pierre Andresen, Mike Heard and Darrick Miller, who will be reacting live to all of the picks and surprises throughout NBA Draft night.
“Bleacher Report and House of Highlights attract a highly engaged audience of young sports fans, and this high value offering empowers partners to enhance their brand messaging in ways that capitalize on evolving viewing and consumption behaviors,” said Seth Ladetsky, Senior Vice President, Ad Sales, Warner Bros. Discovery. “As we continue to offer even more premium video content across our platforms, it is critical that we provide an ad experience that enhances the sports moments that fans and partners come to us for.”
“The Warner Bros. Discovery sports portfolio reaches every type of fan — from the sports fanatic to the casual viewer — across leagues and platforms, while offering our partners organic ways to connect with those audiences,” said Jon Diament, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, Warner Bros. Discovery. “We offer superior ad solutions that meet both partner and consumer needs, and this product is another example of that, adding to our best-in-class suite of partnership opportunities.”
“We are excited to be one of the first brands to partner with Bleacher Report and House of Highlights with this first-to-market, custom pre-roll ad unit,” said Cheryl Gresham, CMO of the Verizon Value portfolio of brands, which includes Straight Talk. “At Straight Talk, we put our customers first, and want to ensure our ad placements align with their viewing behaviors and passions. We appreciate the opportunity to connect with new potential shoppers during this key NBA draft moment and have the ability to align with talent who provides valuable conversations that are relatable to sports fans.”
WBD Sports’ strategic investments in video across Bleacher Report and House of Highlights has delivered triple-digit growth in video starts — up 121% in May 2023 vs. May 2022 — powered by engaging live video franchises, including the B/R Gridiron Draft Show and Creator League, as well as headline-making vodcasts like Taylor Rooks X, The Voncast and On Base with Mookie Betts.
As the most engaging online sports publisher with more than 100 million followers across its channels, Bleacher Report’s fan-first approach has created a direct connection with audiences and enabled communities to build across its platforms. Through social-focused video content that sports fans find relatable, accessible and communal, House of Highlights creates content that fans care about, focused on delivering stories on compelling topics that leave a lasting impact on audiences.
In line with all of Warner Bros. Discovery advertising offerings, six-second pre-roll ads can extend clients’ reach across the larger portfolio using RE/FORM, YouTube, and Twitter. The offering is optimized for social assets and allows Bleacher Report to build off the success of its branded content offerings.