Eric Cantona fronts Sky Sports campaign

Eric Cantona is to front a multi-million pound marketing campaign for Sky Sports highlighting the “unpredictability” of sport and the availability of its channels in what appears to be a direct response to rival BT’s recently launched football package.

Eric Cantona
Eric Cantona

As well as TV ads, billboards will feature big pictures of Cantona and lines including “The unmissable should be just that”, “Compromise is not an option” and “What’s the point of greatness if you cannot watch it?”

BT and Sky recently signed a deal enabling BT Vision customers to watch Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 from 1 August at cheaper rates than Sky charges its customers. The move followed an Ofcom rulling that forced Sky to cut the price it charges rivals to show its premium sports channels.

Cantona narrates the TV ads in the first person as he relives classic Sky Sports captured moments of surprise or unpredictability. These include Liverpool’s winning of the 2005 Champions League final (having trailed 3-0 at half time), the through-the-legs winner from Roger Federer (to set up match point in the semi-final of the US Open), and Kevin Pietersen’s first left-handed six.

Spanning TV, outdoor, print and digital, the campaign breaks today, 16 July, with the TV ad premiering on Sky Sports’ Facebook page before making its terrestrial debut later that evening. The print, outdoor and digital campaign will start on 19 July.

There is also a reference from Cantona’s infamous press conference in 1995 with images of a golf ball being stolen from a green by a seagull. Cantona signs off with the line: “Anything can happen in sport. The only certainty is you’ll get all of Sky Sports on Sky’.”

Later this autumn Sky will also launch Sky 3D to its Sky+HD customer base; it will be Europe’s first 3DTV channel.

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