Tech product placement makes it way to Sky 1

Microsoft is seriously splashing the cash to make its human-controlled Kinect games accessory the number one limb-flailing gizmo of choice.

News just landed that Sky and Xbox 360 have signed a product placement deal for the Kinect for Xbox 360 game Kinect Sports, the recent BAFTA Best Family Game award winner, to appear in the pre-title sequence of Sky 1 HD’s sports panel show A League of Their Own.

The Kinect Sports product placement will feature from this Friday 1st April, becoming the first product placement deal to air on Sky.

CPL Productions – the producers of A League of their Own – Sky and Xbox have worked together to develop the show’s pre-title sequence which features its stars preparing to go on-air while members of the studio audience gear up in the backstage holding area by playing Kinect Sports, the best-selling Kinect for Xbox 360 game, which offers a controller-free selection of football, bowling, boxing, volley ball, table tennis and track and field experiences.

The Kinect Sports product placement deal complements Xbox 360’s existing sponsorship of the series. Both sponsorship and product placement deals were negotiated by Sky and the media agency UM London on behalf of Xbox.

Jason Hughes, Head of Branded Content, BSkyB, said: “We’re delighted to be able to build on our broadcast sponsor partnership with Kinect for Xbox 360 and Kinect Sports in this way, especially as it is the first product placement deal we’ve agreed to make it on air. Both Kinect Sports and A League of Their Own are all about people having fun with sport, and we look forward to working with Xbox to innovate and develop our relationship further over time.”

Stephen McGill, Director of Xbox and Entertainment for Microsoft’s Retail Sales and Marketing Division, UK & IR, added: “Coming hot on the heels of the Xbox sponsorship of Got to Dance 2, this product placement deal with Sky provides yet another highly innovative partnership opportunity. Kinect Sports is an ideal fit for A League of Their Own, and I’m sure viewers will be interested to see how the game has been integrated into the show.”

Phil Cresswell, Ideation Director, UM London, added: “We’re really excited to be involved in the first ever product placement deal for Xbox in the UK. The new Ofcom regulations have opened up a great opportunity for us to work with broadcasters, partners and producers in the same way that we have been doing for a number of years across our European markets. Now we can build on our vast experience in this field and apply it more closely to home.”

The Kinect for Xbox 360 lets consumers experience games and entertainment, no controller required. Kinect has been named by Guinness World Records as the Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device, by selling 8 million units in its first 60 days. To date, Kinect for Xbox 360 has sold more than 10 million units worldwide. Currently there are more than 20 Kinect games available.

SHARETweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestDigg thisShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.