Sky Sports uses fans to welcome back Premier League football

Sky Sports is preparing to welcome back Premier League football with a marketing campaign that switches focus from the superstar players to the fans.


The campaign will feature a TV ad, entitled “Goal”, that captures real fans at stadiums across the country as they watch their team play.

Barry Skolnick, BSkyB’s creative director, told Marketing Week 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 added.

The ad is soundtracked with a version of the Rolling Stones track “You can’t always get what you want”.

The full campaign will run across press, radio, outdoor and digital, with some activity segmented depending on region so that fans will see creative that is relevant to their local team. The wider campaign will position Sky Sports as “the home of live goals”.

Skolnick says: “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 [footballer], 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.”

It is hoped the campaign will appeal to both existing and non-customers, despite Sky’s wider strategy to focus on retention over acquisition.

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

The campaign was created by Sky’s long-standing creative agency Brothers and Sisters.

The 2012/13 season marks the last year before BT takes over from ESPN to become the second alongside Sky offering viewers live Premier League action. BT plans to broadcast the 38 live games it has rights to on a new “football-focused” channel that will offer “new interactive features” when supplied over its fibre optic network.

Sky Sports ad