SBD/July 9, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Fox' Big-Budget Ad Promoting The Launch Of FS1 Described As Ethereal, Raucous

A 90-second ad featuring a "roster of high-profile athletes" promoting the August 17 launch of Fox Sports 1 will "premiere in the fifth inning" of Fox' broadcast of the MLB All-Star Game next Tuesday, according to Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. The ad was shot "over a period of 10 days in six locations" and includes Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera, 49ers LB Patrick Willis, U.S. national women's soccer team F Alex Morgan and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. The ad, which was filmed by rap/pop music video director Joseph Khan, "ping-pongs between a number of iconic sports venues." Morgan "celebrates with her teammates in the rain at Gillette Stadium," while Willis tackles Ravens QB Joe Flacco in a "snow-blown L.A. Coliseum." The ad is "at once a bruising chiaroscuro of tough breaks and big hits and a celebration of the joy of winning the big one." Fox Sports Senior VP and Head of Marketing Robert Gottlieb said that the ad's "front end is 'slow, ethereal, dreamlike,' while the back half 'is kind of raucous; it’s a real kick in the stomach.'" Crupi noted the music is an "unexpected, but inspired, choice." It forgoes the "hip-hop swagger or the anthemic roar of a power chord," and instead "plays out to a retooled version of the old standard, 'Happy Days Are Here Again.'" Not only "does the song speak to the narrative action within the promo itself, but as Gottlieb acknowledged, it also functions as a playful elbow to the ribs of FS1’s competitors." Shorter versions of the ad "will appear on Fox and across other TV outlets" after its debut, but it will not "pop up on a certain rival network’s air." Gottlieb: "I don’t think you’ll see it on ESPN. They’re pretty good at walling off their air to competitors" (ADWEEK.com, 7/8).
ANCHORS AWAY: Fox Sports created a video and posted it on YouTube welcoming former TSN anchors Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait, who are joining FS1 ahead of the net's launch. The video shows the two hosts arriving to the Fox HQs in L.A. and leading a group of employees in the singing of "O Canada" (THE DAILY).

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