Home Affiliate Marketing & Advertising Sports Affiliate Marketing: Tips for Advertising at Sporting Events 2024

Sports Affiliate Marketing: Tips for Advertising at Sporting Events 2024

by Olly V

Sports affiliate marketing campaigns are not only about promoting sporting events. Advertising during major tournaments and matches is a proven way to drum up conversions for iGaming, VPN, Utility, E-commerce, or Subscription offers.

I you’re a media buyer or affiliate searching for multiplying your marketing output, check this post. We’ll share a sports calendar for affiliate marketers and list pro tips for acquiring traffic.

Online advertising at sports events: Why try?

Seems like your app or iGaming platform can’t cash in on a boxing match or a cycling race, right? But sports fans’ behavior is not so apparent. There are at least 5 reasons why gaming operators, software providers, entertainment content, and e-shopping offers increase conversions on the eve of the major tournaments:

  • You know almost precisely when traffic will soar
  • Millions of users are in high feather
  • Relevant traffic: online users consume goods online and play games like no other
  • Streaming websites and other sports-related platforms invest in driving more target traffic (organic, PPC, social)
  • You win quality clicks and conversions outside the mainstream competitive channels
  • It’s clear which traffic source to invest in after you test traffic if speaking of display advertising.
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Sports Calendar 2024 for affiliate marketers

Users get highly engaged during the biggest world sporting events and willingly pay attention…and money if you offer something in their interest zone. Adsterra has built a sports schedule that embraces matches and championships taking place in 25+ countries. You will undoubtedly find a fresh source of high-intent audience for your offer.

Major sporting events in 2024

  • ⚽ Football
  • 🎾 Tennis
  • 🏅 Olympics
  • 🏏 Cricket
  • 🚗 Motor Sports
  • 🏋️ Weightlifting
  • ⛳ Golf
  • 🚴 Cycling
  • 🏀 Basketball
  • 🥊 Boxing
  • 💪 MMA/UFC
  • 🏉 Rugby
  • 🏈 American Football
  • 🥋 Judo
  • ⚫ Biathlon
  • 🏒 Ice Hockey
  • 🎮 Esports

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Best ad formats for sports affiliate marketing


Popunders are winners when it comes to testing traffic or embracing massive audiences from any location of the globe. Adsterra sends 11.9B+ average monthly ad views from Pops (desktop and mobile devices.) Sports-related websites from Gaming, Streaming, and Entertainment niches widely use Popunders.


Social Bar

Social Bar is Adsterra’s proprietary ad format that also includes In-Page Pusn and Interstitials. When advertising at major sporting events, resort to this format after achieving stable output with Pounders. Why so? Mainly because Pops are more friendly for beginners and don’t require designing creatives.

Social Bar, with its 9.9B+ monthly ad impressions, is the best for scaling marketing campaigns. It allows for including up to 15 creatives per test, enhancing the impact of your message.

Adsterra gives free access to over 20 template creatives for Social Bar. Need a push-like message for your VPN/App campaign? Select In-Page Push skins. Want to draw full attention to your e-shop’s sale? Use Interstitials templates. In search of an alternative way to display your iGaming offer? Select Custom Widget + Interstitial + In-Page Push. It’s all up to your fantasy.

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Top tips for running sports affiliate marketing campaigns

Let’s focus on how to buy traffic outside the main competitive channels. So, how can you cash in on this traffic?

Ensuring your offer is neat and relevant

Whether advertising an in-house offer or taking it from an affiliate network, testing the promoted product as a potential user is highly recommended. What to check:

  • Landing page load speed and lead forms. If the page you lead all your traffic loads slowly, you will lose potential leads and deposits. The signup process must be smooth and easy to complete. 
  • Payment systems: players will deposit more often if you offer convenient payment options. Therefore, check if your local audience uses specific payment systems.
  • Conversion flow: if you’re an agency or an affiliate, checking what you will be paid for is a must. Ensure you’re able to drive enough traffic to deliver such conversions. Installs and trials are easy-flow conversions that require little effort or payment. Deposits and credit card submissions are hard-flow conversions, as they demand entering payment data.

Final arrangements

Be on the alert for a selected match or tournament before 1 or 2 weeks.

  • Design several ad creatives to start a test campaign without delays,
  • Ensure you have enough money for the test ($100 will be enough in most cases for the test, except for the biggest sports events like SuperBowl). And stay prepared to increase your bid when entering the most competitive
  • Ensure your advertising network supports integration with your tracking system or allows adding third-party trackers.

Running a test campaign

  1. Start with Popunder ads, as they serve the most abundant traffic and allow you to land users directly on your landing page without extra steps.
  2. If you run an iGaming campaign in a big country, make sure you don’t target cities or regions that prohibit such ads within your geo. If there are some, apply for city targeting and exclude the unwanted cities. 
  3. Set up one campaign per geo in your list; avoid adding multiple countries to one campaign even if the rest of the settings don’t change.
  4. In the same way, create one campaign for mobile and desktop traffic, one for iOS and one for Android devices. 
  5. Avoid using too many traffic filters during testing to ensure maximum user coverage.
  6. Add daily spending limits to control your ad budgets.
  7. Match the offer’s conversion flow with a pricing model. With hard-flow conversions like deposits start with CPM pricing. Easy-flow conversions (software trials, app installs) are better to test with CPA pricing.

Pro tip: when you target a massive segment of traffic with conversions as your KPIs, apply intelligent tools like CPA Goal. CPA Goal will optimize the traffic you acquire for conversions while you will be paying for impressions (CPM) or clicks (CPC.)

Campaign optimization

Optimization is about repurposing your budgets to the best-performing traffic while eliminating the low-performing. Here are some basic steps to follow:

  1. Ensure you have enough data for optimization. With CPM campaigns and hard-flow conversions, you’ll need at least 5 to 7 days for a test. Fast conversions will come in the first hours after you launch a test.
  2. Avoid making global changes or altering several settings at once. Otherwise, you will get confused by the results and unable to check which move was successful and which yielded.
  3. Add a time range to your targeting to exclude dull hours when users may view ads but not take any actions.
  4. Scan through all ad placements and pick those with the highest results (clicks, conversions, deposits, etc). Apply Custom Bid to increase payouts only for these placements. In the same way, you can minimize bids for the lower-performing traffic sources.
  5. The optimization stage is perfect for forming blocklists and whitelists, adding the latter to a separate campaign with bumped-up payouts.
  6. Refresh creatives and pre-landing pages if you notice a drop in clicks and conversions.
  7. Finally, drop a line to Adsterra managers in the chat to unlock more tricks you can apply within your campaign to save money.

Bidding tactics

Despite we don’t recommend overbidding at the start, to win the best traffic in the event’s eve, you will have to compete. The amount of traffic usually soars one week before the match or tournament. You can multiply ad views and conversions, as well.

Here’s how ad views grow when one of the major cricket and football events is approaching:


Which bidding tactic to try, taking into account the increasing competition? Two bidding strategies are possible for your sports affiliate marketing campaign or alternative campaigns (e.g., VPN, E-commerce, iGaming):

  • Smart CPM bidding. This tactic turns on right after you launch the campaign. You will need to enter a maximum bid for 1,000 of ad impressions. Smart CPM will pay higher than the next highest bidders to win auctions and acquire ads at the lowest possible cost.
  •  Manual bid adjustments. After testing traffic for a while, you will have a list of ad placements that perform nicely and those with insufficient results (it’s only possible when you enable conversion tracking). You can increase payouts only for those traffic sources that deliver maximum output. This is called Custom Bidding, and Adsterra provides a tool to apply this tactic.

Remember to reassess your bids, especially when the event is about 5 to 6 days away.

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Add great traffic from our sports calendar to your marketing

Running digital ad campaigns before the upcoming sports events and during significant tournaments a tried-and-true tactic. Adsterra publishers attract massive audiences, boosting traffic on sporting, streaming, movies, and gaming sites. Users tend to engage with all content appearing on these sites on the eve and within the best tournament dates.

Choose an event and search for a suitable offer in your affiliate network. Next, create a campaign in Adsterra with recommended GEO and collect views and clicks. If you are new to Adsterra, start with CPM pricing, as it is the most cost-effective and allows for quality traffic tests.

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FAQ about sports affiliate marketing

Is sports a good niche for affiliate marketing?

Sports is an evergreen niche for affiliate marketing. Millions of fans are waiting for the upcoming sporting events to support their favorite teams and players. But that’s only one side of the story. Millions of users are in their highest mood waiting for a tournament to start, and you can benefit from this. Run VPN, E-commerce, Utility, and Subscription campaigns on the eve of and during the major sports events in 2024.

How do you strategically plan your ad campaigns during sports events?

If you plan a sports-related campaign, start preparing at least 2 weeks before. Ensure you address the right audience, including the local nuances of running such campaigns, such as language, fan slang, and local star champions. Depending on an offer, you may or may not include event dates in your campaign, but anyway, leave time for the test, at least 5-7 days.

Your strategy will vary depending on the conversion flow. Prefer CPM pricing for complex conversions like players’ deposits and CPA for fast actions like app installs.

How can maximize the impact of advertising at sporting events?

– Use pre-landing pages to filter out unwanted users (lead prequalifying)
– Offer valuable freebies and bonuses right in your creatives
– Add more traffic trying alternative OS and browsers
– Add mobile traffic
– Prefer high-quality images and icons but focus on the main message, stating real benefits

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