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Direct to Consumer Products Everything Showroom

Category Sponsorship Preview

Category sponsors receive the valuable benefit of exclusive and prominent advertising placements in their desired product categories. As a category sponsor, your product ads will appear above and below all competing brands in your category (screenshots and examples below).

Sponsors also receive the top listing within their category, as well as the first right of refusal on category sponsorship renewal (more details here).

Category Leader Example

Many DTC brands offer a full line of products in one focused category, and Tower Paddle Boards is a great example.

As a dominant player in the inflatable paddle board market, Tower Paddle Boards uses their category sponsorship to highlight eight different inflatable paddle boards on the category page (shown below), and directly link each product listing to the corresponding product page on their website, TowerPaddleBoards.com.

All DTC brands evaluated and approved by NoMiddleman will receive a free and complete brand listing in the directory (ranked in order by website traffic rating), but only the category sponsors can display and directly link their products on NoMiddleman.com.

As a category sponsor, Tower has extended the entryway to their website through the NoMiddleman.com platform, and with their first right of refusal on annual sponsorship renewal – the right to match any future sponsorship offers from competing brands – they’ve secured a sustainable competitive advantage as the DTC leader in their category.

Screenshots of Placements & Benefits

Here are the four exclusive placements for category sponsors, followed by a screenshot showing how and where they appear on mobile displays.

1. Product Listings, Top

  • Direct linking to your site
  • Highlighted savings off MSRP
  • Up to 2 product listings on mobile, 4 on desktop

2. Top Brand Listing in Category

  • Positive recognition as supporter of DTC movement and category
  • Increasingly valuable as categories grow in number of competitors
  • Renewable annually with first right of refusal

3. Product Listings, Bottom

  • Up to 6 product listings on mobile, 4 on desktop

4. Early Category Sponsor Exclusive (Limited Time)

  • Top-level directory links, all page footers & home page

Here’s how and where these placements are seen by consumers on mobile screens:


Single DTC Product Example

Many DTC brands focus on a single product. That’s the case with a different Tower brand, Tower Made (TowerMade.com). Tower Made uses its sponsorship of the Beach Cruiser category to highlight different features of its “World’s Finest Beach Cruiser.”

Below, you can see how Tower Made is able to show eight different views of their featured product – lifestyle images, component detail images, and overall product shots – with all eight images linking to the same product detail page on TowerMade.com.

Here’s how and where these placements are seen by consumers on desktop screens:

Broad DTC Offering Example

For DTC brands with a variety of products across a product category class, sponsoring a broader category can be ideal.

Tower Made, for example, offers much more than beach cruisers. They sell a growing array of beach lifestyle products, and sponsoring the top-level Sports & Recreation category allows them to highlight their broad category offerings (paddle boards, surfboards, skateboards, beach cruisers, board bags, wood sunglasses, and more).

As they introduce new product categories to their brand, they can use this broad category sponsorship to feature those products prominently in high traffic categories.

Here’s how and where these placements are seen by consumers on desktop screens:

Leading Direct to Consumer Brands

Direct to consumer sports Brands

Unsponsored Category Example

Any category not currently sponsored is available for sponsorship on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There’s one important prerequisite: your brand must be evaluated and qualified as a direct to consumer brand in that category by NoMiddleman.com. There is no way for a brand to buy their way into a category on NoMiddleman.com.

Categories without sponsors typically don’t have any product listings, rather they only contain the brief brand descriptions of NoMiddleman-vetted brands with products in that category. Brands are listed according to an estimate of site traffic.

Here’s how and where these placements are seen by consumers on desktop screens:


Learn More

Learn more about becoming a category sponsor and supporting The No Middleman Project.


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