Sky Sports kicking off Soccer AM in US, targeting Millennials

By Jim O'Neill on Sep 17 2015 at 10:15 AM

Sky Sports is partnering with YouTube sports network Whistle Sports on a new social media channel that’s designed to bring more soccer content to U.S. audiences.

Soccer AM is specifically aimed at the high-demand Millennial demographic and will feature original football content and be available to watch on multiple platforms, with its own YouTube channel and a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Vine.

Featured will be new faces such as England Women’s footballer, Alex Scott, and will include videos and posts covering football topics, such as gaming, fantasy football, stats, and skills.

Soccer AM also will bringing together existing Sky Sports on-screen talent Adam Smith from Soccer AM and Laura Woods. 

The new channel is the first collaboration since Sky’s $7 million investment in Whistle Sports in October 2014.

“The new Soccer AM channel on social media is going to do something very different to what football supporters are used to from Sky Sports,” said Dave Gibbs, director of digital media at Sky Sports. “We will produce new types of content, with new presenters for new audiences. By combining our expertise and talent, we hope to produce something that will really excite young football fans.”

The Soccer AM channel on social media will include event weeks, with quarterly programming focused on specific themes, as well as new regular shows. On a Monday morning it will take a look at the quirky stories from the weekend’s football, and the Friday evening show will use data and stats to debate the key upcoming games.

The launch will see the first event week focused on the release of FIFA 16, bringing together some of the biggest names in vlogging to look at the characters that surround the game, its evolution and role in sports gaming,

It’s worth noting that soccer continues to gain traction in the United States, with the recent U.S. team’s World Cup final match against Belgium garnering an overnight rating of 9.6 and 16.0 million viewers on ESPN alone, the largest rating ever for a soccer match on ESPN.

Whistle Sports has some 9.3 million subscribers and in 2014 passed 1 billion views.

“Young millennial sports fans increasingly use social media to drive their engagement with live sports,” Whistle Sports CEO John West said. “Our community of compelling creators have grown to serve that need and engage a growing generation of global sports fans. Sky makes a perfect partner for our international expansion due to their commitment to innovation. This new brand, new content and new approach around the world's most popular sport is a great new offering.”

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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