Posts Tagged ‘basketball’

obama_basketball1Throughout the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama and John McCain used sports to reach out to people across the country. Obama did an excellent job of connecting with people through sports, which may have helped him win the election.

From the beginning of his campaign, Obama discussed his love of sports. He played basketball in high school and began playing election day pick-up games during the Democratic primary campaign. He called sports radio shows and gave interviews to sports columnists. By Obama talking about sports and showing that he’s a big sports fan, people, like Arash Markazi, can relate to him and view him as a regular person.

Obama also used sports media to reach people, especially the Republican-leaning demographic group of young white males. According to Nielsen, Obama’s campaign spent more on sports programming than any candidate in history. During the Beijing Olympics alone, Obama’s campaign spent $5 million on commercials.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 7,000 “Obama for President” commercials during live sporting events. A 30-minute Obama infomercial delayed the final World Series game by a few minutes, and Nielsen estimated that 33.7% of infomercial viewers also watched the Phillies win the World Series.

Obama had one last chance to reach the American people on Monday Night Football, the night before the election. The game was the second most-watched cable event of the year. Obama was interviewed during halftime and talked about a college football playoff system, which is an issue in the world of sports.

Connecting with people through sports was a perfect campaign strategy for Obama. He capitalized on the opportunity to reach a wide-ranging group of people, but they all had one thing in common — sports.


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