Following the demise of SETANTA in the UK, ESPN has picked up their EPL rights and launched its first live UK sports channels, ESPN and ESPN HD.
The channels will feature 46 live Barclays Premier League (EPL) matches hosted by Ray Stubbs and Rebecca Lowe (Ex BBC Football Focus and Match of the Day).
They kicked off last weekend. With the momentum of a strong team and strong finances, I suspect that SKY will face some stiff competition from ESPN and “Stubbsie”.
The launch was driven by some strong advertising. Similar to FOX Sports in Australia (see post below), the promos featured the strong emotional connection that viewers have with their teams and the game.
This is about passion and living and breathing the beautiful game! Some great lines in there:
“Filled with pride, courage, meat and gravy…”
“I shall stand tall like a polyester beacon of hope…!”
These promos are well crafted creatively and well produced to lift the spirits of the viewer and anticipation of the season ahead.
Somewhat like a valiant cry in the midst of battle (!), the ad is full of hope and optimism. Stirring stuff and all before a ball was kicked in anger.
The ad for ESPN is voiced by Boys from the Blackstuff actor Bernard Hill and was created by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. No surprise to see it’s a good one as these guys produce the Nike Soccer ads. (Remember the classic Nike “Park Life”…..):
Lets just hope the games live up to the promise! (NUFC fan in remission…)