Universal Studios Network UK has promoted Jamie West to head of
sales for its UK Sci-Fi channel.
West’s role will incorporate the running of traditional airtime sales,
as well as building commercial sponsorship.
He replaces Mark Bradford, the channel’s commercial director, who left
the company six months ago.
West was formerly an account director at Sci-Fi. He started out in
airtime sales at Yorkshire and Tyne Tees television, joining Sci-Fi four
years ago from Express Newspapers.
As sales director, he will head a newly merged sales and sponsorship
team made up of four people, three of which have recently joined the
Lucy Brison arrived as account manager from Talk Sport, Martin Luck
joined as account executive from media agency BBJ, and Thamary Choy came
on board as account executive from Granada Media Sales.
West also confirmed that he is on the hunt for at least three additional
sales executives and account managers.
The sales department is already trying to persuade a range of national
newspapers to feature a Sci-Fi competition, offering readers the prize
of a trip to Universal Studios in the US. Both Sega and PlayStation also
look set to sign sponsorship deals with the channel.
Key advertisers targeted by Sci-Fi include clients from drinks, computer
games and confectionery companies, as well as UIP Cinemas, 20th Century
Fox and Warner Brothers. All Media planning and buying for Sci Fi is
carried out by Carat.
West commented: ’We might have a small team, but we have strong
relationships with the clients and agencies. We are forging closer links
with programming and marketing departments in order to sell the channel
on its strong brand image rather than ratings.
’We are also considering advertorials and themed weekends as inventive
ways of advertising outside of spot airtime sales.’
Flagship programmes on Sci-Fi include The Hunger, starring David Bowie,
which premiers exclusively in the UK at the beginning of March. It also
has the Lexx series, a surreal space drama that runs first on Sci-Fi and
is followed up with a broadcast on Channel 5.
The Sci-Fi channel targets the 16- to 34-year-old market and is carried
on all cable channels with the exception of ONdigital. It is also
broadcast on satellite, Sky Digital and analogue services.