The Sun is expected to ramp up its marketing spend to over £50m next year to support its recent investments in fantasy football and online bingo.
The newspaper, which is the biggest in the country, increased its annual marketing spend by 30% over the last year, says News Group Newspapers’ sales and marketing director Roland Agambar, and he expects a similar increase this year.
The paper’s fiscal year starts in July and the overall spend for the year to July 2008 across its properties is estimated to be upwards of £40m, a 30% increase from £28m the year before.
Agambar says: ” We have the biggest bingo website and the biggest fantasy football group, so why wouldn’t we market these? The spend will go up next year, if the demand is there.”
The paper, which is owned by parent group News International, has recently announced a new on-demand mobile football service tie-up with sister paper News of the World and BSkyB. Agambar adds that football will be central to its marketing activities this year.
The on-demand service from the News International papers and Sky, called 24-7 Football, will offer T-mobile, O2 and 3 customers coverage of Premier League and Uefa Champions League football.
The paper has also appointed Mick Robin to head its fantasy football league. Robins is currently marketing director at Fantasy League, the company that runs fantasy sports games.
Robins will take over as channel manager for its fantasy proposition, and is one of four new channel managers at the paper, across e-commerce, gaming and commercial channels.
Agambar claims the paper’s fantasy football will attract around 750,000 teams this year.