ESPN AND BUDWEISER TEAM UP FOR ESPN’S FA CUP COVERAGE
- Multi-faceted agreement, spanning content and advertising, builds fan anticipation around the FA Cup
- Activity encourages, amplifies and aggregates fan conversations around the FA Cup via social media
- Demonstrates ESPN’s ability to deliver innovative solutions to brands
ESPN and Budweiser are collaborating around this season’s FA Cup with an integrated collaboration covering advertising and content.
Following last season’s successful tie-up, which received a Media Week Gold Award in the Media Idea Launch category, this season’s agreement encompasses several new elements. Underpinning and running throughout the entire set of activities will be social media integration: fans watching or accessing any of the multi-platform content will be encouraged to share their views and opinions on the FA Cup – and associated Budweiser and ESPN content – via Twitter using #ToTheDream.
Additionally, the campaign encompasses several other elements:
- Here’s to the Dream – FA Cup 2012/13: Eight short fan-focused films running all season from the First Round through to the Final, which recount fans’ personal tales about the competition. To date, two films have aired on ESPN – including the story of Dorchester Town fan Dave Ring ahead of ESPN’s broadcast of his side’s giant-killing win over Plymouth Argyle in the First Round. In these films, fans share their great FA Cup journeys, experiences, favourite moments and FA Cup dreams to build anticipation for this season’s tournament. Each film is aired on both ESPN and ESPN Classic as well as on a specially-created online hub, ESPN.co.uk/facup. Ahead of the Third Round, ESPN will air a film about a fan of Mansfield FC as they prepare for their big match against Barclays Premier League outfit Liverpool.
- Sponsorship: All televised FA Cup coverage on ESPN will feature pre- and post-break bumpers, while online at ESPN.co.uk, FA Cup coverage will feature display banners and rich-media ads.
- Here’s To The Dream – Legend: A series of five, FA Cup legends-focused films running periodically through the competition, the films re-live some of the seminal moments of the competition’s rich heritage. To date, three films have aired on ESPN, including a short film about Hereford United’s famous goal by Ronnie Radford in their shock win against Newcastle United in 1972. Another focuses on a father and son who were at the 1999 semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United when Ryan Giggs scored his famous winner. The third film features two Liverpool fans reminiscing about Michael Owen’s two late goals for Liverpool in the 2001 final against Arsenal. Each film is aired on both ESPN and ESPN Classic as well as on ESPN.co.uk/facup. Details of future films will be confirmed in due course.
- Here’s To The Dream – TV: A new in-programme sponsored feature in ESPN’s live FA Cup telecasts, starting from its Third Round coverage, which builds-up to the match ahead by focusing on the FA Cup heritage of the teams involved. With hosts, celebrities and ex-players it will provide viewers with a taste of the anticipation leading up to the big match.
- Fans’ All-time FA Cup moments: Launching on Wednesday January 2, a fan poll hosted on ESPN.co.uk to establish a collection of fans’ all-time favourite FA Cup moments from several topical categories. Voters choose their favourite moment from among ESPN Classic’s archive of classic matches, goals and other moments – and can watch those moments on television (ESPN Classic) and online (ESPN.co.uk/facup). ESPN will reveal the all-time most voted-for moments as part of its all-day, on-site coverage of the 2013 FA Cup Final on Saturday May 11. Fans will be encouraged to share their recollections and views of their favourite moments via #ToTheDream.
One week before each round of the FA Cup, voting will be opened – at ESPN.co.uk/facuppoll – for the following categories:
- Third Round – Greatest FA Cup Giant-Killings – voting opens Weds Jan 2
- Fourth Round – Greatest FA Cup Goals – voting opens Mon 21 Jan
- Fifth Round – Greatest FA Cup Comebacks – voting opens Mon Feb 11
- Quarter Final – FA Cup Matches that Changed History – voting opens Mon Mar 4
- Semi-Final – Greatest FA Cup Semi-Finals – vote opens Mon April 8
- Final – Greatest FA Cup Finals – voting opens Mon May 6.
- Man of the Match: Fans can vote for their Budweiser Man of the Match during all FA Cup matches via ESPN.co.uk, as well as the ESPN and Budweiser’s Facebook pages.
- Online hub: At ESPN.co.uk/facup, ESPN will devote a series of feature articles about The FA Cup, discussing aspects of the tournament’s past and present.
Alan Fagan, group head of sales, ESPN Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “ESPN is committed to celebrating the FA Cup’s rich and varied heritage and to bringing fans the very best stories and insight into this year’s competition. Our collaboration with Budweiser engages fans with content and participation, via TV, online, mobile and in the social media conversation, celebrating moments past, present and future. Our collaboration with Budweiser reflects our shared passion for both The FA Cup and fans, and demonstrates ESPN’s dedication to delivering unique and individual solutions for advertisers.”
Iain Newell, UK Marketing Director, AB InBev UK, said: “One of our major commitments as lead partner of The FA Cup is to bring the tournament closer to football fans, build anticipation for every round and to celebrate the optimism the competition holds for both fans and clubs. In our second season with ESPN we are looking forward to a programme of activity that engages with football supporters, in particular through social media, generating interest and excitement around our involvement in the tournament.”
FA CUP ON ESPN
ESPN will broadcast 25 live and exclusive FA Cup matches this season, from the First Round through to the Final, ensuring fans won’t miss any of the competition’s unique drama and storylines. As well as selected replays through the tournament, the sports media company televises two matches in the first two rounds, three matches from the third to fifth rounds, two quarter-finals, one semi-final and the FA Cup Final.
ESPN.co.uk, ESPN’s news and information portal, will offer football fans in the UK online coverage of the FA Cup including special features. ESPNFC.com, ESPN’s new multi-platform, multi-language and multi-country global football brand, will provide live scores and match reports, plus access to a network of bloggers. Both sites will also offer video highlights of selected FA Cup matches. On mobile, fans can access all of the best content from ESPN.co.uk via the mobile web, and, from ESPNFC.com via a dedicated mobile app.