Sky Sports’ Fan-Focused Work For 2012/13 Premiership

Stepping in to the post-Olympic void, Sky Sports prepares to welcome back the premier League with a new campaign that switches the focus from start players to passionate fans.


The Premiership’s principle broadcast rights holder is rolling out its annual new season campaign across TV, press, radio, outdoor and digital. Some of the activity is segmented by region so that fans will see more creative relevant to their own local teams.


The campaign was created by Sky’s long-standing agency Brothers and Sisters and is spearheaded by a new TV spot called simply ‘Goal’ which comes in 90-, 60-, 30- and 15-second versions. Directed by Ivan Bird, the imagery focuses on the reactions and faces of fans as they respond to those powerful goal-scoring moments.


The TVC uses the Rolling Stones song ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ (rerecorded by the Bach Choir) as its soundtrack and it was created from 75 hours of footage shot across 20 games using five cameras at a time.


Click to view TVC


The overall campaign uses the tagline ‘Every goal matters’ (perhaps referencing last season when the title was won by a single goal) and aims to position Sky Sports as the home of live goals – something that plays out strongly on the campaign’s online hub at SkySports.com/goals.


‘By pointing the cameras at the fans rather than the players, we created a powerful and emotional film that captures football in a fresh, unclichéd way,’ says Brothers and Sisters founder Andy Fowler.


‘This whole campaign celebrates the tension and release every fan feels when they experience a goal being scored live.  By focusing on the fan’s emotional journey, these ads prove that even in these tough economic times a Sky Sports subscription is an investment not an expense.’


BSkyB’s creative director Barry Skolnick says the brand wanted to capture the unique 15-20 seconds after a goal has been scored, where adrenalin pumps through fans’ bodies like no other experience.


‘The exciting truth is that football is nothing without the fans – an empty stadium is an empty spectacle, so our ad is really based on that premise,’ he explains. ‘People get pleasure when a brand has comprehension about the things they like that matter to them; this isn’t just a generic “there’s a superstar isn’t it wonderful”. We are excited because we are [demonstrating] the tribal mentality we carry with us and we’ve never done this kind of [segmentation] on this scale.’


Despite Sky’s current umbrella strategy being increasingly focused on retention over acquisition, the campaign aims to appeal to both existing and non-customers.


‘If we only spoke to people who watch games with us every Saturday we would be foolish,’ Skolnick says. ‘We are absolutely speaking to them but at the same time we have to speak to every person on an emotional level.’




While the creative doesn’t diverge that much from previous Sky Sports work or earlier campaigns promoting the new Premiership season, it does mark an attempt by the brand to align more closely with the everyday fan.


Perhaps this approach is a response to both the anti-overpaid footballer and anti-Murdoch backlash in recent months. Or it could be seen as building closer customer bonds before BT becomes a genuine Sky competitor in the Premier League space.


After all, this new 2012/13 season is the last year before telecoms giant and Sky competitor BT takes over from ESPN to become the second UK channel alongside Sky to offer live Premier League action. Next year will see BT broadcast 38 live games on a new ‘football-focused’ channel which it claims will offer ‘new interactive features’ which leverage its fibre optic network.








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