Advanced Television

WhatsApp, Sky Media Transfer Deadline Day partnership

August 31, 2021

WhatsApp and Sky Media have announced their media-first partnership with an in-show activation centred around the coverage of today’s (August 31st) Transfer Deadline Day.

To support the recent launch of WhatsApp’s View Once feature the messaging service has become the official sponsor of Sky Sports’ Transfer Deadline Day. WhatsApp will be the first brand to embark on a commercial partnership that reacts to real-world environments and real-time news within editorial content.

At the helm of this in-programme activation is social influencer Harry Pinero, who will embark on a Transfer Deadline treasure hunt to look for clues, leads, predictions, opinions and exclusive behind the scenes news. His search will be broadcast live from the heart of the action – near football stadiums in London and in studio – with hints and tips from Sky Sports News delivered to his phone with View Once photos and videos on WhatsApp.

Throughout Transfer Deadline Day, Pinero will host six live in-show segments at peak viewing times. Two of the  segments will see him take to the streets of North London to talk to fans in the morning. The other four segments will see him back in the Sky Sports News studio where he’ll chat with a variety of reporters and pundits about the latest transfer gossip and deals.

View Once photos and videos on WhatsApp will play a key role in the segments’ content, with product placement of View Once delivering Harry the latest updates via this new feature. The deal also includes in-show sponsorship via a WhatsApp branded title sequence and a HPTO (homepage takeover) across Sky Sports’ website and app on Transfer Deadline Day.

In addition to the Transfer Day in-show features, the wider partnership includes a Broadcast and Social sponsorship throughout the Transfer Window on Sky Sports News’ programming as well as Transfer Talk clips across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Eshan Ponnadurai, WhatsApp’s Director of Brand and Consumer Marketing, commented: “Transfer Deadline Day is one of the highlights of the new football season. WhatsApp plays a natural part of Transfer Deadline Day – as an intrinsic part of football culture for players, clubs and fans, particularly sharing news in a private and secure manner. View Once lets every fan send photos and videos that disappear so people can feel confident sharing their thoughts and reactions with an additional layer of privacy on WhatsApp.”

Sarah Jones, Director of Planning at Sky Media, commented: “The Transfer Deadline Day is one of the most talked (and messaged) about moments of the football season. Sky Sports has become synonymous for its coverage and it’s exciting that WhatsApp will be a key partner this time around. The View Once messaging is a perfect fit – a new feature, which we’ve made central to the content we’re putting on both our broadcast and social channels.”

Drew Simmons, Client Director at Mindshare Invention, said: “The football transfer window fuels conversations around the globe and when fans are looking to find out the latest player movements and credible club updates, they turn to one place…Sky Sports. Leveraging the insight that player transfers are often negotiated privately on WhatsApp, before being communicated to Sky Sports’ very own ‘in the know’ reporters; aligning View Once from WhatsApp alongside Sky Sports’ accurate, fact checked and exclusive transfer coverage showcases the vital role that WhatsApp’s privacy features play within the biggest transfer deals from around the world.”

Mark Alford, Director of Sky Sports News, added: “This partnership reflects the enduring fascination, excitement and pace of Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports News. It’s the day football fans dare to dream that their team might make a big move to set up their season. Fans’ thirst for football news is fierce. They want to receive it quickly and reliably, they want to share the latest with their friends and family. They use WhatsApp. Our reporters and presenters use WhatsApp. It’s a perfect match.”

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