Antonio Ruiz has joined the sports channel operator at the start of the year as VP, marketing & franchise management, from its parent group Discovery, and told TBI the new-look Eurosport will connect better with fans and better reflect the increasing array of high-end sports rights the channel is acquiring.
Discovery has European rights to the Olympics for 2018-2024, and has been hovering up international, pan-regional and local sports rights since buying Eurosport.
It has, for example, moved for pan-European rights to MLS soccer, has a new multi-territory deal for Bundesliga football and, at a local level, has taken Formula 1 in Portugal and Champions League in Singapore.
Discovery took full control of the channels group earlier this year, but the rebranding project has been underway for over a year.
There is a new logo and a new strapline – ” and the social media hashtag #sharemypassion – but the rebrand is about a wider repositioning of the sports channels group, Ruiz said.
“There’s a new logo, but it is much more than that,” he said. “This has been a project for us since May 2014 as Discovery has supercharged Eurosport. We have acquired 8,000 hours of content and 4,000 of that is live events.”
A key part of the rebrand is to better connect with fans and tapinto their passion for sports events. “This is a radical change for Eurosport and the first time we have focused on emotions, it was very rational before,” Ruiz said.
Market-watchers questioned whether Discovery would rename Eurosport and badge it ‘Discovery’ in some form, but that has not happened. “We have done 16 months of research and we know that Eurosport is a string brand and has a great heritage,” Ruiz said. “But we wanted to move from being a trusted brand to a loved brand.
Eurosport chief executive Peter Hutton said: “Today’s launch of the new brand identity is another huge leap forward to make Eurosport the preferred destination for sports fans everywhere.”
He added: “We have enhanced production to tell great sport’s stories in a more innovative way, resulting in record-breaking ratings for many major events through 2015. Today we are excited to package that in a whole new identity and language, feeding fans’ passion for sport.”
The new logo, idents and on-air look and feel are live across Eurosport’s 54-country footprint today.