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FCB Aiming at Obsessed Fans

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Continuing its string of high-profile sports ads, FCB here has launched a new campaign for the Fox Sports Network.

The work, which uses the tagline "A fan never rests," is now breaking nationally. Spending on the campaign is $10 million, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The ads were directed by Christopher Guest, best known for his role as guitarist Nigel Tufnel in This Is Spinal Tap and a frequent commecial director of late.

This spring's spots include a character called "Matt the Stall Guy." In six spots, Matt is shown talking with Major League Baseball employees in a company rest room. The conversations often lead to embarrassing situations.

"The campaign needed to remind guys to watch local baseball on Fox," copywriter Ward Evans said. "So we chose a guy-centric setting, and came up with a character who is an enthusiastic, nonstop fan."

Each spot is catered to teams like the San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs. The commercials will air in all 21 Fox Sports Net regions and Fox affiliated cable stations. The campaign will run throughout the summer.

In the spot "Low 5," a manager named Dan walks into the bathroom stall next to Matt. Matt strikes up a conversation and then flashes a baseball card under the stall wall.

After Matt rants about the card, he slides his hand under the stall and asks Dan for a "low five." The spot ends with Matt asking Dan not to leave him hanging. Other ads involve similar comical situations in rest rooms.

The shop has been busy with sports lately, breaking a national branding campaign for Major League Baseball [Adweek, April 2] and also designing ads for the Oakland Athletics franchise.

Neal Tiles, evp of marketing for Fox Sports Network, said the bathroom setting appeals to younger male fans who are rabidly interested in sports and have an offbeat sense of humor. "Our goal at Fox Sports Net is to seek out unique and unexpected ways to talk to our target," Tiles added.