Media Brand Strategy

WhatsApp uses Sky Sports Transfer Deadline Day sponsorship to push View Once feature


By John McCarthy | Media editor

August 31, 2021 | 4 min read

Transfer Deadline Day, the most buzzworthy of football days in the media, sees hardcore fans glued to the feeds of Sky Sports News.

To mark the importance of mobile comms in both negotiating and breaking the deals, the sports broadcaster has partnered with WhatsApp.

The Facebook-owned messaging app sponsored the Transfer Deadline Day segments on live TV, further pushed on social. It is using the spot to highlight its View Once feature, an image that disappears after just a glance.


WhatsApp is using the spot to highlight its View Once feature

Today, WhatsApp has been reacting to news breaking on the channel in real-time, solidifying the platform as the place to discuss the biggest moments in football.

Social influencer Harry Pinero is leading the activity with a Transfer Deadline treasure hunt to look for clues, leads, predictions, opinions and exclusive behind-the-scenes news, all broadcast live near football stadiums in London. He’s being led by hints sent to his phone on WhatsApp using the View Once feature in a series of six vignettes.

The product placements will be supplemented by an in-show sponsorship, a branded title sequence and a homepage takeover across Sky Sports’s website and app on Transfer Deadline Day.

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In addition to the Transfer Day in-show features, the wider partnership includes a Broadcast and Social sponsorship throughout the Transfer Window on Sky Sports News’s programming, as well as Transfer Talk clips across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Eshan Ponnadurai, WhatsApp’s director of brand and consumer marketing, said: “Transfer Deadline Day is one of the highlights of the new football season. WhatsApp plays a natural part of Transfer Deadline Day – as an intrinsic part of football culture for players, clubs and fans, particularly sharing news in a private and secure manner. View Once lets every fan send photos and videos that disappear so people can feel confident sharing their thoughts and reactions with an additional layer of privacy on WhatsApp.”

Sarah Jones, director of planning at Sky Media, added: “The Transfer Deadline Day is one of the most talked (and messaged) about moments of the football season. Sky Sports has become synonymous for its coverage and it’s exciting that WhatsApp will be a key partner this time around. The View Once messaging is a perfect fit – [it’s] a new feature, which we’ve made central to the content we’re putting on both our broadcast and social channels.”

Mindshare Invention helped broker and deliver the campaign. It runs until September 16 across VOD platforms, digital, mobile and social.

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