Birth of the Sponsor Me advertisement?


Targeted advertising is nothing new. Google keeps track of what you search for and shows you ads based on what it thinks you might be inclined to buy. It’s old hat, but this weekend I saw an interesting application. As I waited to click through the pre-roll ad on a Portland Timbers video, the content caught my attention. Lately I’ve been getting a few skateboard related pre-rolls. I can’t remember for what exactly, it might have been Vans, Converse SG, or possibly Levis with skateboarding, but this one was different. It was a amateur video montage of a kid skateboarding. Low and behold it’s Schaeffer McLean, the same kid form the janky indoor ramp video. I watched the whole thing (Well 99%) waiting for the product placement or a call to action but it never came. The web link associated with the video took me to Schaeffer’s Youtube user page, which is written in the third person, so one has to assume it’s run by his parents. Those video ads aren’t free, someone has to pay for them. So what is he selling? There are two possibilities, either he’s trying to drive traffic to the user channel and generate revenue through inline ad views, or he’s looking for sponsorship opportunities. It might just be the first paid “Sponsor Me” advertisement, but how many team managers are scouring YouTube for unsolicited new team members? I suppose there is a third less cynical option. Maybe the parents just want to (pay to) share their child’s love of skateboarding with the world.

The pre-roll ad had a running time of 2:49, but this video from Schaeffer’s channel has the same title, soundtrack, and footage with a longer run time.

Do you hate pre-roll ads? Me too, but somebody has to pay for all that bandwidth. Here’s a story about another unique adaptation of the medium.


  1. colin on July 14, 2014 - Reply

    I think it’s bigger than just a sponsor me. It’s both Youtube ad revenue and the interest to drive this concept to a TV deal.

    • “drive this concept” Concept? What concept? A kid who skates? An English Kid who skates? Definitely trying to monetize, whether the sponsor is Red Bull or Viacom…

  2. How to get a return on your investment in your offspring.

  3. kickstander on July 15, 2014 - Reply


  4. camerobo on July 15, 2014 - Reply

    if kids’ sponsor me ads replace all the bullshit i see at the beginning of legit uploads, i’m cool with it. shit, i’d rather watch bad skating than bourbon ads (i just gave away my ad target demo)

  5. Septik Kilt on July 25, 2014 - Reply

    Nice article.thanks 🙂
    I dunno what I think yet

  6. I actually think it’s pretty smart of the kid to be advertising. Who knows, maybe he’ll get sponsored from all this attention.

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