BT pushes free European football in major ad push

BT is kicking off a major ad campaign featuring Gareth Bale and David Luiz to support the launch of European football on its BT Sport channel.

BT: Michael Owen (centre) stars in latest campaign
BT: Michael Owen (centre) stars in latest campaign

The TV campaign, which was created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO with media by Maxus, launches tomorrow and takes inspiration for what BT calls the "glitz, glamour and spectacle" of the tournament.

An online ad launched today features the football stars alongside BT presenters and pundits including Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen, posing like they are in the photobooth at a party.

Alongside Bale and Luiz, who play for Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, the campaign features Bayern Munich’s Frank Ribery, Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The players will also star in the first TV ad "house party" which sees Ribery and team mates Philipp Lahm and Thiago Alcântara taking on a header challenge.


BT is paying £299 million a year for the exclusive rights to broadcast both the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League from next season. ITV and Sky previously shared the rights between them.

In a second TV ad Oliver, a client of BT, tries to persuade the footballers to exchange their usual shirt number to zero to reflect the fact BT Sport is free for BT TV customers.

At AMV BBDO the creatives were Rich Peretti and Gary Lathwell. Randy Krallman directed the spots through Smuggler.

Dan Ramsay, the customer acquisition director, BT Consumer, said: "This is an exciting time for BT Sport. We hope viewers get into the party spirit and enjoy seeing some of their favourite football stars celebrating with the glitz and glamour that surrounds the elite tournaments for world club football, the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Europa League, which BT customers can now watch all in one place and at a great price."

The TV ads will be accompanied by rich digital media ads, outdoor, press and radio.

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