BT and Gareth Bale tackle Sky Sports in TV spot

BT is launching a major ad campaign featuring footballer Gareth Bale to promote the launch of its free BT Sport channels.

BT will challenge Sky Sports dominance in the market with the launch of its new BT Sport service, promising an "affordable and exciting".

Three BT Sport channels will be offered free to BT broadband customers, while the brand claims pubs and clubs will be able to save up to 80% if they switch to BT Sport from Sky.

The ad, breaking today, by AMV BBDO features sports stars such as Tottenham Hotspur footballer Gareth Bale and England rugby player Owen Farrell.

The spot 
shows BT Sports presenter Jake Humphrey taking viewers on a journey, with clips of Everton footballer Marouane Fellaini , British tennis player Heather Watson, and co-presenter Clare Balding speaking to Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand, before Humphrey arrives at the BT Sport studio.

The strapline reads: "BT Sport, Great sport happens here."

Martin Krejci directed the TV spot. Media was bought by Maxus. The soundtrack is Wor by Django Django.

The spot will be supported with outdoor ads and large investment in social media activity, counting down until the launch of the channels in three month.

Ian Livingston, BT chief executive, added: "UK sports fans have had a rough deal for too long. Many have been priced out of the market but we will change this by giving away BT Sport for free with our broadband. Sports fans are the winners today."

Speaking at the today's launch event at Stratford, East London, David James, marketing director for consumer, BT Retail, promised consumers would be offered a "Willy Wonka-style factory of sport".

"The new series of adverts for BT Sport will showcase the great range of live sporting action and the amazing deal we are offering, especially to BT broadband customers. We hope the glimpse behind the scenes of our new sports studio with our great line up of presenters will really whet sporting fans’ appetite for what’s to come," said James.

BT Sport has the rights to show 38 exclusively live games and follows BT's acquisition of ESPN's TV channels business in the UK and Ireland.