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SBD/August 16, 2013/Media
NBC Hoping Viral EPL Ad Helps Draw New Fans As Net Prepares To Kick Off Coverage
Published August 16, 2013
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AD DRAWS EYES IN ENGLAND: The spot features Lasso thinking he is being sent across the pond to coach an American football team, only to learn he has been placed in charge of EPL club Tottenham Hotspur. The buzz over Lasso has been so considerable -- particularly in the U.K. -- that the BBC jokingly asked the fictional character to predict the weekend's games on one of its regular online segments. When asked whether the spot was meant to highlight NBC’s entrance into the soccer realm, Barnett said, "It’s more about the fan’s journey than it is NBC’s journey. I think what we we’re trying to demonstrate was coming to the sport and showing the nuances and differences between the two kinds of football." Bergofin said of the rationale behind the ad, "We can’t just make people watch sports; we have to make people love the sport and love the game. So it’s a broader challenge, and to see the palpable buzz for the Premier League, and to see (the ad) continue have that kind of impact, is really rewarding.” However, both men acknowledged that, despite the ad's seemingly successful run thus far, the ultimate proof of whether it served its purpose or not will be borne out in the form of ratings. "You go into these things with high hopes of ... growing the sport. I think we achieved that," Barnett said.