ESPN is making a huge gamble by starting up a new European Soccer Channel, in just a few short months, so it comes as no surprise that they are putting a lot of money into an early advertising campaign. The “Leader” has taken out ads in print, on radio, on the tele and even billboards, based on the angle of “It’s Great To Be Here”, and has spent well over a few million pounds/dollars on said strategy. Via The Guardian….

The broadcaster has avoided using sports stars in its ad campaign, instead opting to focus on a “fan-centric” strategy.

The TV ad, which has been shot at locations including Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane and West Ham’s Upton Park grounds in London, will use images of the football experience from a fan’s point of view. It will run from 12 August, three days before the start of the Premier League season.

ESPN’s campaign, developed by the ad agency Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, is scheduled to run across its channels including ESPN Classic and ESPN America, as well as being made available across its five core web properties, which include CricInfo, Soccernet, Scrum and Racing Live.

The campaign will also run on channels including Sky Sports and Sky Sports News as well as on Sky Movies, Discovery and FX.

ESPN’s target market is 18- to 34-year-old men. In addition, W&K is developing dozens of promotional idents that will run around ESPN’s football coverage led by the former BBC presenter Ray Stubbs. The idents, created by production company BDA, feature snapshots of the lives of fans of each of the 20 Premier League clubs.

Again, this is a huge risk, and all the advertising in the World won’t matter, if people thinking that you’re ruining their viewing experience. I think ESPN should have probably spent some of that money on focus groups, so they don’t miss what’s important to the fans. But maybe they did that too.

ESPN plugs Premier League coverage in ads for UK sports channel (Guardian)