Barclays airs TV spot ahead of Premier League season opener

Barclays has launched a TV campaign featuring real football fans to promote its sponsorship of the English Premier League ahead of the start of the new season.

The TV ad, called "thank you" airs today on UK TV and digital channels, ahead of the first game of the season, between Liverpool and Stoke, tomorrow. Barclays will follow the spot with a global film targeting viewers in the 200-plus countries that watch the sport.

The UK ad is framed as a thank-you to the fans whose support makes the game so popular. It follows individuals, families and friends as they make their way to support their team.

All those featured in the ad are real fans, not actors, including Billy Ingham, who has supported Everton for more than 70 years.

The overseas ad will take a strike a similar tone as the UK spot, appealing to people across the world that support UK clubs with equal fervour.

The campaign will develop with social media, PR and experiential iterations, which reward fans with prizes such as match tickets and access to players and managers.

David Wheldon, managing director of brand, reputation and citizenship at Barclays, said: "There is so much that is good in football, and it should be celebrated.

"We are lucky enough to sponsor the most popular and exciting league in the world, and we want to say ‘thank you’ to the people who make the Barclays Premier League what it is today."

Bartle Bogle Hegarty created the work. Ric Hooley and Vix Jagger wrote and art directed it and Benito Montorio directed it through Blink. Maxus handled the media.

The 2013-2014 Premier League season marks the start of a new three-year sponsorship deal with Barclays. When the contract ends in 2015-16, the bank will have sponsored the league for 15 years.

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