Budweiser and Sky Sports are Kings of the Premier League

04/30/2021

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Background information

This week’s egtabite is a real treat for football fans, as we put the spotlight on a unique partnership between Sky Media and Budweiser.

Budweiser has long been associated with football in the UK due to its long-standing partnerships with the Football Association and the World Cup. In 2019, the beer brand launched a three-year partnership with the Premier League and needed to announce the collaboration to drive a deeper association between the brand and the Premier League. However, with so many sports channels and content providers, Budweiser needed to do something different to get noticed and engage with its consumers in a crowded marketplace. What better way to do that than to partner with Sky Sports?

Global partnership

Budweiser approached Sky Media with a challenge: to raise awareness for its global partnership with the Premier League to social grades ABC1 25-34 across the UK. Budweiser had become the official beer of the League on a global level for three forthcoming seasons and wanted to strengthen their credentials during highly-anticipated matches by further aligning themselves to premium football in the UK. However, to get the cut-through they needed, a traditional approach to media wasn’t going to work.

An appetite for football content

Sky Sports Premier League had tapped into its fan base to find that there is “a real appetite for more opinionated, fanzine-like comment and analysis” and the view that “debate and discussion is crucial to engaging and interacting with live sport”.* So with the audience’s insatiable appetite for even more football content, Sky Media and Budweiser had an opportunity to:

  • Establish Budweiser as THE premium beer you choose for high energy occasions
  • Elevate the fan experience by bringing them closer to the kings of the game
  • Activate the power of Taste Greatness to drive sales
  • Driving talkability and having cut through during the English Premier League

*understanding sports consumption study, 2018

Who’s the King?

Budweiser, Sky Sports and media agency The Story Lab (Dentsu) collaborated to create a new monthly TV & YouTube show called Kings of the Premier League. For the first time, guests could use a combination of Sky Sports Power Ranking stats (powered by Opta), fan voting data (King of the Match data from the official Premier League app) and expert pundit opinion to debate and select the best 11 players to form the fantasy team of the month.

With Budweiser flowing through the set and title sequence, the show featured ex-players, world-class experts, renowned football influencers and celebrity fans armed with the most detailed analysis of the Sky Sports Power Rankings data ever seen on TV.

Activation

Sky and Budweiser created a bespoke advertiser-funded programme to reinforce Budweiser’s premium nature and engage fans in hot topics and debates with expert analysis from world-class experts and influencers.

Kings of the Premier League was initially pitched as a purely social show; but was soon promoted to feature as a Linear show played out across the weekend’s primetime Premier League football, thanks to the strength of the idea. This content pillar was amplified with paid-for media and promoted across Linear, Digital and Social.

Digitally, an always-on presence was achieved with bespoke editorial articles on SkySports.com sponsored by Budweiser with direct links to partnership content and promotions. The long-form linear show was also pushed to a secondary audience through the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel with social cutdowns across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, driving viewers to watch in their own homes or on the move.

What were the results?

  • 75k fan-first social posts (i.e. Q&As), resulted in incredible brand engagement
  • Fans loved the content and the accompanying articles drove an impressive brand dwell time of 145 seconds (2m25s) on average
  • In total, the partnership delivered close to 30m targeted impacts across TV, Digital and Social with:
  • The episodes on Sky Sports Premier League reached 246k individuals on Linear TV
  • Viewing was bolstered by an additional 800k views on Sky Sports YouTube across episodes, sneak peeks and Q&As
  • Budweiser advertising across Sky Sports channels delivered 39.39 TVRs equivalent to over 8m impacts.
  • Articles on Sky Sports, promoting the show and Power Rankings, overachieved by 1.5m page views, coming in at 2.3m.
  • Sky Sports social achieved over 4m impressions delivered against posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Sunday Vibes generated 539,561 views on YouTube along with added value social posts delivered 12.5m impressions.

“The Sky Sports partnership created a strong association between Budweiser and the Premier League that went far beyond traditional sponsorship. The Budweiser sponsorship of the Premier League celebrates the Kings of the game by bringing fans closer to their Premier League heroes, and the creation of ‘Kings of the Premier League’ allowed us to do just that. The show gave the brand the opportunity to provide genuine utility to fans while also giving the brand a credible voice in the Premier League conversation.” says Jessie Landers, Senior Brand Manager for Budweiser.