How BT Sport used AI to lead the nation’s chat around football

BT Sport changed its marketing strategy to reflect changes in the competitors it faced.

With marketing budgets drastically cut, BT Sport had to do more with less during the 2019/20 football season, all while facing increased competition from rival broadcasters and illegal streaming sites.

It also had to cope with the trend of younger viewers consuming football as a series of clips or highlights on Snapchat, rather than as a live game.

The brand took drastic action, using data and artificial intelligence (AI) to create its own script for the entire season, to drive conversations and put itself at the heart of the nation’s chat about football.

Before any spend on paid media, BT Sport’s script had become the talk of the town after being released to a host of sports writers and influencers. It achieved millions of impressions and engagements and extensive print coverage, as well as delivering a substantial increase in BT Sport subscriptions.

Impressive results led it to win the 2020 Marketing Week Masters award for sports, gaming and entertainment.

The judges described the strategy as “simple and ingenious in getting talkability and reminding people why it’s necessary to watch football live”.

The campaign also won the Masters awards for data-driven marketing, best use of a small budget and PR and brand storytelling.



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