Focusing specifically on the sports side, there’s no doubt that sports networks and broadcasters can offer huge sync licensing opportunities, ranging from small promos all the way up to Super Bowl performances. But how do you go about scoring these placements?
During the panel at last week’s MMF event, BT Sport’s Head of Music Jim Brackpool explained how the process of matching music and programming works for them. Here’s what you need to know:
A growing organisation brings bigger and better promo opportunities
With around five million homes and over 24,000 commercial premises now subscribing, BT Sport are one of the fastest growing TV services ever launched in the UK. In addition to their coverage of many key events, BT Sport is now the only place to watch Champions League and Europa League football. They’ve also launched a series of new channels – BT Sport Europe, Showcase, 7 x Red Button channels and Ultra HD, Europe’s first ever live sports channel in 4K. With this growth comes bigger and better promo opportunities for artists.
BT Sport are incredibly artist-centric
Music is an essential element of BT Sport’s personality. “We’ve always thought of BT sport as a platform for artists”, says Jim. “We want managers, labels, and publishers to look at what we’re doing and think, “that looks like a cool place where I can introduce an artist or new release.””
They’re (generally) looking for new releases
BT Sport are comitted to finding and promoting new music in particular. “For sync we’re generally looking for new releases”, explains Jim. “Our output exists in the here and now – this weekend’s football is this weekend’s football so we try to use as fresh a music selection as possible to keep it feeling of-the-moment.”
They’re happy to be approached (but do your research first)
As a rights user on the lookout for the next best music, Jim is more than happy to be approached – as long as you do your research. “Have a look at our schedule”, he recommends. “If you know that your artist is a massive Arsenal fan, for example, and you can see that we’ve got a game scheduled on Tuesday night, then get in touch.”
“If I had a pound for every email I’ve had saying, “Here’s a really sad song that would be perfect for when such-and-such team has lost and you’re like, “Have you seen BT Sport at all in the last three years? If you have then you’d know we just don’t do that kind of thing.”
They offer much more than straight sync opportunities
As a forward thinking and music driven network, BT Sport creates all sorts of promotional opportunities for artists beyond straightforward sync deals. “We offer an album launch package where we offer an artist a suite of sync opportunities, and we try and include a live performance, as well as things like short interviews, online pieces – all of which are bolstered through social media”, explains Jim.
“More and more we’re trying to do talent led VTs where artists will feature in a small promo for the game, for example. We recently had two Grime artists AJ Tracey and P Money jousting over Spurs and Arsenal, and we took Raleigh Ritchie to the UEFA Champions League Final in Milan to perform his new track. So if you know that your artist is going to be up for that kind of thing, then absolutely pitch to us.”
Opportunities that BT Sport have created for artists include:
- Live performance on Football Tonight
- On-site showcases in front of programme producers
- Syncs as part of Champions League and Premier League coverage
- Sync opportunities across various sports shows, Spotify playlists & VT’s
- Exposure on BT Sport’s social media reach with digital content
For more details on the opportunities available within BT Sport, download their “Creative, sync and promo opportunities for Season 2016′ PDF here.
(Please note – some of these opportunities are being re-purposed as BT Sport’s schedule is being re-organised for mid-August and the Premier League re-launch.)