Many of you have asked for details about my new job. I'll do my best to explain. The explanation will be very long and detailed. It will be rather boring and dry. Consider yourself warned.

I work at J. & J. & Associates. I am an editor. We are paid by corporate sponsors, arenas, associations and many other sports related entities to analyze sponsor values for certain broadcasted events. I'll use something on which I am currently working as an example of the steps involved.

Family Circle is a magazine that runs a women's tennis event in South Carolina every year.  It is called the Family Circle Cup, Presented By L'Oreal Paris.  Family Circle wants to attract sponsors to spend money to advertise during their tournament.  L'Oreal Paris is an example of a "presenting sponsor."  The beauty product manufacturer paid money to have their name on the title of the event.  Hence, every time an announcer says "L'Oreal Paris" (we call that a "mention"), or a graphic comes on screen with their logo and/or slogan ("presenting sponsor graphic"), they are getting a return on the investment of the money they paid up front to present the event.

It is my job to watch the broadcast, count the mentions and count and time how long the graphics, banners, signs, wristbands, ballperson shirts, visors, coolers, cushions, racket strings, etc. are on screen clear, and in focus.  This is done by watching the broadcast twice. The first viewing is the audio; I
just listen and take notes. This is also where I get to enjoy the event as it requires only a mid-level of concentration.  The second viewing is the visual; I watch the screen and the counter on my VCR and play, rewind and pause with great frequency.  This requires intense concentration.

I recently completed the two-hour broadcast of the final of the event mentioned above. It was a riveting three set affair between Jennifer Capriati and Martina Hingis. The audio took me about two and a-half hours. The visual took about 14.

During the visual I had to count and time every sponsor that was on the screen.  This included sponsors such as Fila, Penn, Yonex, NASDAQ, Women's Fitness, Brita, Hormel, South Carolina Tourism Board and many more.

Non-sponsors must be counted as well.  These might include Charleston, SC, the WTA tour, Wimbledon, Auckland, NZ, "Everybody Loves Raymond, " or Martina Navratilova.

While doing the audio, mentions are notated on paper and entered into a database later.  During the visual, sponsors or entities are entered into the database as I go along.  The sponsor, from where the sponsor visual came, and the time of exposure must all be entered.  For the event described above, I made about 1800 entries over the 14 hours.

Once this is complete, the numbers are "crunched" and formatted into three spreadsheets that divide the data by sponsor, dollar value and other factors. I then begin the report. The report begins with a summary of the action and then breaks down the top sponsors. All the sponsors and entities are listed in chart form after the write-up. Competitors, number of interviews and length of interviews are also included. All entities are also listed.  Weather, ratings, estimated viewers and channel of broadcast are also included.

The dollar value mentioned above is the key to the whole affair.  Everything is based on a "cost per 30."  This is the retail cost of a 30-second commercial during the event.  Each mention receives a 10-second value in order to merge with the rest of the data. So, if the announcer says, "brought to you by Wrangler Jeans, " and I see a Wrangler banner in the stadium of the event for 4 seconds, Wrangler gets 14 seconds. Fourrteen seconds multiplied by the "cost per 30" gives the exposure dollar value.

In addition to the tennis events, I also cover a rodeo series and a car racing series. The rodeo is quite enjoyable.  The car series is less so, although it is a "lower tier" series which means a lot of crashes and sketchy driving and that keeps things interesting. In that series, keeping track of each driver and his/her sponsor is a difficult aspect, as there are team
sponsors and non-team sponsors that need to be kept separate.  These sponsors may switch from race to race.

There are also special projects such as watching a baseball game only looking for Mastercard identity or viewing the entire NCAA basketball tournament looking for Rawlings and Aquafina.  These projects are enjoyable as one only has to look for one or two sponsors instead of everything that is mentioned and shown.

I think that covers most of the technical aspects of the position. 


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