Virgin Media pushes Sky Sports HD as competition intensifies

Virgin Media is unveiling an integrated advertising campaign to promote its Sky Sports HD1 and Sky Sports HD2 offerings.

The company has agreed a deal with BSkyB to offer the two HD channels on its platform from today (20 July) and has created a range of “perfect packages for every type of sports fan” following a recent Competition Appeal Tribunal ruling.

BT Vision has also acquired rights to Sky Sports 1 and 2 following the ruling, though not in HD, and is promoting the channels under the “cheapest price” banner.

In the campaign shots, animated characters cheer on their favourite team. Print ads will run across national newspapers and specialist magazine Sport. An online campaign will also run across football sites, news outlets and social media platforms, and will be complemented by broadcast ads on Absolute and TalkSport radio.

Virgin Media will also use pub, bar and stadium media, in a bid to reach millions of sports fans. The company says the campaign “focuses on the fan, rather than the footballer, and the great choice and savings on offer.”

The campaign comes months after Virgin Media unveiled its first High Definition (HD) TV advertising campaign.

The ads aim to showcase Virgin Media’s growing HD line up, including BBC HD, ITV1 HD, ESPN HD, Living HD and, soon to launch, Film4 HD.

Eric Cantona is fronting a multi-million pound marketing campaign for Sky highlighting the “unpredictability” of sport and the availability of all five HD sports on its service.

Separately, e-Dialog has been appointed by Virgin Media to implement its strategic e-mail marketing strategy.

e-Dialog will work with Virgin Media’s marketing team to closely develop a holistic digital communications programme on an ongoing basis. The engagement will include a full range of eCRM programmes designed to engage the consumers throughout the customer lifecycle including newsletters, post sales updates, new product information and the development of triggered e-mail programmes. e-Dialog will become Virgin Media’s first full-service e-mail provider.

Chris Bibby, direct marketing and CRM director at Virgin Media, says: “We chose e-Dialog to help implement our digital marketing campaigns as the team clearly understood how to achieve our goals. With the strategic insight from the account team we hope to identify fresh opportunities for contact and also drive greater engagement throughout the customer lifecycle. We’re looking forward to working with e-Dialog and continuing to ensure our customers have the best possible experience.”

Luke Griffiths, VP Professional Services at e-Dialog adds: “Virgin Media is renowned for its cutting-edge technology and unmatched customer service. We are pleased that we have been chosen to implement a strategic online customer care initiative and help them meet their engagement goals.”

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