Sunday TV Ratings Evidence of New Era for the Armada FC

Armada’s new owner develops broadcast strategy to increase financial stability and overall brand
Aug 7, 2017

Aug. 4, 2017 | Armada FC Public Relations

When Robert Palmer, president of Robert Palmer Companies and new owner of the Jacksonville Armada, first purchased the team, his No. 1 priority was to take immediate steps to raise Armada FC’s profile in Northeast Florida.

His strategy involved redirecting the bulk of RP Funding’s massive television and radio advertising budget in the Jacksonville market to the Armada.  But he also wanted to leverage his advertising power to find new broadcast partners for Armada FC’s home and away games.

Sunday’s Armada FC match against the San Francisco Deltas was broadcast on WJXT and peaked at a 2.1 rating, reaching more than 16,000 households or approximately 20,000 viewers. The first match of the Fall Season showed an increase from the previous match against the Deltas, which drew less than a 0.1 rating and reached less than 700 households or about 1,000 viewers.

Sunday’s broadcast drew more viewers than the Major League Soccer match aired on FOX30 in Jacksonville the day before, which peaked at a .6 rating, reaching less than one-third of the viewership of the Armada FC match.

Televised matches on WJXT are one of the many changes to broadcast under Palmer’s direction.  The Central Florida entrepreneur has successfully used aggressive TV and radio advertising to build his other brands, and he plans to do the same with the Armada FC.

“With advertising and upgrading the broadcast to the major stations, as well as broadcasting in Orlando and adding in radio coverage, we were able to reach more than 20 times the number of people we reached the last time the Armada played the Deltas,” said Palmer.

Palmer took action to improve the television broadcast coverage with Graham Media Group in Jacksonville. In the Spring Season, only home matches were televised on ThisTV. Palmer secured both home and away match broadcasts on WJXT and WCWJ for the Fall Season.

The improvements also included the return of a radio broadcast and the addition of a Spanish radio station. Both home and away matches will now air on FM stations 97.3 Planet Radio and Rumba 106.9 in Jacksonville. A 24-hour iHeart Radio channel will also be available to fans globally.

“For me, it is really about giving fans as many ways as possible to consume the game,” said Palmer. “In turn, this helps us with sponsors because now we have more opportunities to get their messaging in front of fans.”

The week before the first match of the home season, Palmer rolled out a large advertising campaign consisting of television, radio and digital outlets to promote Sunday’s match.

In one week, 968 television commercials aired across stations in Jacksonville, receiving 10.2 million impressions. Over 1,171 radio spots were also aired that accumulated over four million impressions.

“The Jacksonville Armada was the largest advertiser on our two stations, and probably also in the market, in the week leading up to the Fall Season opener,” said Tony Motta, sales manager for FOX30 and CBS47 in Jacksonville.

Palmer’s goal to increase the quality and quantity of Armada FC broadcasts ties into his overall vision of creating a world-class brand of the club. This is evident in his plans to increase visibility to other areas in Florida, such as Tampa and Orlando. This began with Sunday’s match being televised in Orlando on MeTV.

“For an entire season, a sponsor could only hope to reach about 60,000 people. Now we are talking about reaching that many people each week,” said Palmer. “The value proposition to sponsors is going to be tremendously different, which also means those sponsorship costs are going to be tremendously different.”