Fox Soccer Channel was featured in Adweek last week, the bible for the advertising industry in the United States. The article focused on Bass Ale’s sponsorship of the Super Sunday Plus show featuring Christian Miles, Gary Richards and Keith Costigan.
The main message in the article is how Fox Soccer Channel is producing branded entertainment for sponsors rather than playing the typical 30 second spots. What Fox and Bass Ale have created on Super Sunday Plus is a package that is relevant. Three blokes sitting in a pub chatting about football with Bass Ale’s name splashed around the pub and across the screen. To me, this isn’t too much of an intrusion in my football watching experience.
The article mentions that Fox is in talks with other advertisers regarding similar branded entertainment opportunities. Here’s where I’m concerned. Other than a pub setting, what other branded entertainment opportunities could Fox create that would be a good fit? I really can’t think of any.
I haven’t watched Fox Football Fone-In this season but in previous seasons the co-hosts and set have been kitted out in so many football shirts and associated gear that it looked the show and the hosts were prostituting themselves for the almighty dollar.
The channel risks turning the network into a joke. Let’s hope that they make the right decision by promoting advertisers in an appropriate and sensible manner that keeps the focus on the content of the show and not the brand names that sponsor the show.