Sky agrees first product placement deal with Xbox

Sky and Microsoft have signed a product placement deal that will see the Kinect for Xbox 360 game appear in its sports panel show A League of Their Own.


Kinect Sports will feature in the title sequence of Sky 1 HD’s programme, that stars James Corden, Andrew Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp, from tomorrow (1 April). It becomes the first Sky show to feature product placement.

The sequence will feature members of the studio audience playing various games on Kinect Sports while the stars of the programme prepare to go on air.

Sky says the product placement deal complements Xbox 360’s existing sponsorship of the series.

The broadcaster has also struck a product placement deal with haircare brand Tresemme to feature its products in Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model on Sky Living HD this summer.

Sky Media’s head of branded content Jason Hughes says: “The introduction of product placement provides freedom for us to pursue closer creative relationships with appropriate brands and we’ve also been able to ensure a seamless approach to broadcast sponsorship on both the product placement deals we’ve agreed so far.”

Hughes adds that the introduction of product placement industry-wide will be a “delicate process” with a “steep learning curve”.

Product placement has been allowed in UK television programmes since 28 February in broadcasts including: TV series, sports programmes, soaps, films and entertainment shows.

Broadcasters must, by law, display an industry-standard “P” logo for three seconds at the start and end of any programmes and after any advertising breaks where brands feature paid-for-references.

ITV was the first broadcaster to utilise product placement under the new ruling, featuring a Nescafé coffee machine in This Morning on the day product placement went live in the UK.

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