NBC Sports yesterday replaced their Gareth Bale billboard in New York Times Square with a brand-new advertisement to promote its coverage of the Premier League on US television and Internet.
The new billboard features a “Don’t call it soccer” design by English street artist D*Face. While the new artwork is certainly newsworthy, the bigger story is the timing of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale being removed from the advertisement — within 24 hours of Tottenham Hotspur removing a picture of Bale and Clint Dempsey from its official Twitter account.
According to a NBC Sports spokesperson, the decision to swap out the Bale billboard was always intended to change. In a July 22nd interview in Sports Business Daily, it was reported that NBC planned to change its messaging during the course of the one-year contract to rent out the advertising space.
Either NBC Sports knows something we don’t, or they were planning on rotating the billboard ads to keep the campaign fresh, we don’t know. But it’s concerning news for Tottenham Hotspur supporters, but continued great news for soccer fans Stateside.
The “Don’t call it soccer” slogan fits in with NBC’s “It’s football, just not as we know it” messaging that they’ve been using lately to promote its coverage.
In case you missed it, here are two photos of the original Gareth Bale billboard in Times Square.