ESPN has partnered with EA and FIFA 16 to produce an amusing new video series which uses the market-leading game to simulate the Premier League season. FIFA Fantasy League combines games highlights with mock commentary and fake studio analysis to take an alternative and comedic look at the beautiful game.
Hosted on ESPN.co.uk and ESPNFC.co.uk, the series is the first its kind in the UK, in keeping with ESPN’s innovative approach to content storytelling. Supported by audience-targeted programmatic spend, FIFA Fantasy League publishes new videos each Friday ahead of the following weekend’s Barclays Premier League fixtures, thus recreating the competition on a week-by-week basis.
The videos feature commentary by English comedian Anthony Richardson, known for his work with ESPN’s ‘How Will They Line Up?’ and ‘The Premier League In 90 Seconds’, plus ‘Bad British Commentary’ elsewhere. Richardson’s comedy voiceover is partnered with tongue-in-cheek studio analysis from ESPNFC pundit Craig Burley and U.S. presenters Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes.
Alan Fagan, Group Director ESPN EMEA, said, “With the immense popularity of EA Sports and FIFA16, ESPN is delighted to be working with both on ESPN FIFA Fantasy League. We work hard to try to bring a different approach, to deliver truly creative solutions that work for us, for the client and for the reader. We are proud of this work and it is a great example of ESPN’s inventive approach to producing engaging branded content.”
In the series, each game round corresponds with the current Barclays Premier League fixtures, pitting the same teams against each other as in reality. Matches are simulated computer vs. computer and edited down to a weekly highlights package, with Anthony Richardson then narrating over the highlights and ESPN FC’s ironic studio punditry adding further comedy to the video. To date, unexpected outcomes include Newcastle and Sunderland challenging for Champions League qualification just a few points behind league leaders Man City and faring much better than their real life counterparts. Jurgen Klopp’s slow and steady start to his Liverpool tenure mirrors actuality and Aston Villa’s material world struggles are paralleled in the game as they occupy nineteenth position in danger of being relegated.ESPN launches new FIFA Fantasy League video series with EA & FIFA16