Ford, Geico and
Yum Brands will take on launch sponsor roles with Fox's new 24/7 cable network, Fox Sports 1. The network describes them as “leading brands” within their respective categories. Samsung
Mobile has taken a similar role in the electronics category, while several movie marketers are making notable early investments.
There have been reports that Fox was looking to leverage
Super Bowl inventory to persuade advertisers to join Fox Sports 1. Ford and Samsung were in the big game last year, while movie companies are frequent participants. Even with all its sports spending,
Geico has passed.
Ford will remain a top-line sponsor of the NFL on a pre-game show and a college football pre-game show on Fox and now Fox Sports 1, as well. Ford also has inked a position
on Fox Sports 2 when it launches, Fox Sports indicated.
Fox suggested it was looking to sell its sports properties as a package with deals, also including inventory on Fox Deportes and
Fox Sports 1 will offer Major League Baseball games in 2014 and the U.S. Open golf event in 2015 along with the UFC and Big East basketball.
Last week, Disney
CEO Bob Iger said the company’s ESPN unit had a solid upfront market and “did not detect any impact whatsoever” from Fox Sports 1 or other pressures