Ad of the Day: Fox Sports 1 Is Sorry for Turning Football Fans Into Even Slobbier Spouses

Adding more games, straining more relationships

Angry college football widows give Fox Sports 1 the finger for adding more college football games this season.

That’s the creative concept behind the new “Sorry for All the Football” campaign launching today from Pereira & O’Dell, New York.

Robert Gottlieb, evp of marketing for Fox Sports, gave Adweek an exclusive preview of Fox's biggest-ever college football promotional campaign, which includes TV spots, print and online ads and social media.

The tongue-in-cheek campaign gives voice to long-suffering wives, girlfriends and pets left bereft when their loved ones become consumed with college football, for which FS1 will "apologize" to noncollege football fans for putting a strain on those relationships.

(While the ads all feature frustrated women, Gottlieb is quick to note that the football widow phenomenon also extends to husbands, boyfriends, sons and daughters.)

One long-form mockumentary Web video opens with a resentful college football widow giving FS1 the bird for adding more Pac-12 and Big 12 games to its Saturday lineup.

The long-form videos for the Web will be cut down to 30-second TV spots that will air across Fox channels as well as paid media. The social media strategy calls for Facebook/Twitter posts and Vine/Instagram videos.

The highlight of the print effort will be this full-page "letter of apology" from FS1 to the American people planned for The New York Times and New York Post:

With more than 100 college football games on its 2014 schedule, the campaign humorously acknowledges FS1 will create some “unhappy” households.

“People are going to be neglected by their football fan who will be couch-bound for an entire day—watching us,” Gottlieb said.

Social media ads will take a similar approach. One cartoon depicts a guy in his easy chair holding his clicker. “I know I’ve been a jerk and I promise that … Oh, the game is back on. Sorry.” The bottom reads: “Fox Sports 1. Happy Saturday.”

Another shows a guy with eyes only for his TV. His bored girlfriend looks away. “Just be thankful it’s not a 16-game season. #Sorryforallthefootball,” reads the ad, which will be customized according to game matchups.

FS1, Fox’s year-old startup competitor to ESPN, hasn’t officially named Pereira & O’Dell its AOR. But Gottlieb sounds happy with the agency's work: “They killed it on this one. It’s such a well-rounded campaign.”

College football ranks as the third most popular sport in America, according to the Harris Poll. The game ranks behind pro football and baseball but ahead of auto racing, pro basketball and hockey. FS1 kicks off its college football season with Rutgers at Washington State on Aug. 28 and finishes with the Pac-12 and Big Ten conference championship games on Dec. 5-6.


Client: Fox Sports 1

Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing: Robert Gottlieb

Senior Vice President: Bill Battin

Creative Director, On-Air Marketing: Joshua Nichols

Producer: Christy Cofer

Agency: Pereira & O’Dell, New York

Executive Creative Director: Dave Arnold

Managing Director: Cory Berger

Creative Director: Todd Feitlein

Associate Creative Directors: Alexei Beltrone, Jake Dubs, Jay Marsen

Head of Production: Tennille Teague

Associate Strategy Director: Mike Lewis

Production company: Skunk

Director: Brian Lee Hughes

Managing Director: Matt Factor

Executive Producer: Shelly Townsend

Head of Production: Jeanne Stawiarski

Line Producer: Geoff McLean

DP: Jason McCormick

Production Designer: Jason Kisvarday

Editorial company: PS 260

Editor: JJ Lask

Executive Producer: Zarina Mak

Producer: Laura Patterson

Color: CO3

Colorist: Sean Coleman