BT Sport promotes coverage of four football competitions together for first time

BT Sport is pitching itself as a broader and more complete alternative to Sky Sports for football fans in a new campaign that advertises its four key competitions - the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League - together for the first time.

BT consumer marketing director Dan Ramsay said the brand was "positioning itself as a must-have" by highlighting that it was the only provider to offer matches from all four competitions.

Rival Sky has the rights to three times as many Premier League matches, but BT Sport is the only channel to offer Champions League and Europa Cup matches, while the FA Cup is shared with the BBC.

"Our previous Sport marketing has tended to focus on one of those four," said Ramsay. "This year, for the first time we’re focusing on the breadth of the content we’ve got."

The campaign, from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, launches on Monday and will run across VOD, radio, outdoor, press and online display. It was created by Caio Giannella, Diego de Oliveira and Rachel Le Feuvre for AMV BBDO, and directed by Luc Janin for production company Pulse, with media handled by Maxus.

The creatives feature the strapline "Four competitions, one venue" and use composite visuals that combine images and video clips from each of the four. 

Ramsay said that after Leicester City’s famous title win last season, there was "freshness and newness" around the start of this season, with many fans of mid-tier Premier League clubs experiencing an increased sense of possibility – something BT will aim to tap in its marketing.

"One of the things we’ve done more than ever before is personalisation," he said. "We’ve made social content specifically for each of the Premier League clubs, so we can target fans of each of those clubs."

Huge ambitions

Ramsay added that BT’s Premier League offer had improved because the two packages of games it was showing now included the Saturday evening slot, rather than Saturday lunchtime – which he said would be more attractive to home viewers during the winter months.

BT’s 42 Premier League games will also include some on midweek evenings. They will be joined by up to 350 European matches, and 25 FA Cup games.

"We’ve always seen ourselves as more than capable of going up and beating Sky," said Ramsay. "I think that we’re still a growing brand, with huge ambitions in this space. We’re continuing to make sizeable marketing investments in BT Sport."

He also insisted that the sums BT is shelling out for the Premier League rights are justified. BT is paying £960m over three years – equivalent to £7.62m per game – while Sky is handing over £4.18bn to show 126 games a year.

"We were very happy with the price that we paid for the Premier League rights – it was an investment backed up by a lot of financial modelling. We’ve always remained disciplined about not spending money irresponsibly, and we are already seeing BT Sport being profitable and successful for us."

Strong financial results

BT enjoyed a buoyant first quarter (ending 30 June), with the group's revenues up 5.9% to £4.53bn, excluding EE, which BT acquired in January.

A 58% increase in audiences for BT Sport helped push up BT's TV and broadband revenues 21%, driving a 9% growth in revenues across the Consumer division to £1.18bn.

Within broadband, BT added 76,000 customers - 79% of net additions across the market - while it gained another 181,000 customers for fibre broadband, meaning 47% of its broadband customers are now on fibre. The customer base for BT TV grew 59,000 to 1.6m.

Across the business (including EE), earnings before tax and interest were up 24% to £1.79bn, while operating profits grew 14% to £930m. 

Chief executive Gavin Patterson, said BT was on track to deliver its projected performance for the year.

"Our integration of EE is progressing well, alongside our business reorganisation that took effect on 1 April," he said. "EE performed strongly, both financially and commercially, and our customers are seeing the initial benefits of our acquisition with BT Sport now available to EE pay monthly customers.

"We were pleased to renew our FA Cup rights during the quarter and we look forward to showing more games from the Premier League at a much better time slot, starting in two weeks."

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