Network Champions Riders Who Compete Clean and Serves as Voice for Fans Who Support Them with a Campaign that Takes a Stand on Current State of Cycling
Stamford, CONN. —VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the Tour de France, is celebrating clean competition in one of the most intense and grueling events in all of sports with “Take Back the Tour”—a comprehensive, multi-media ad campaign created by New York City ad agency Concept Farm for the 2008 edition of the Tour de France. The campaign was created to champion the riders who compete clean, while giving a platform and a voice to the passionate fan base that supports them.
“Show me another sport that’s as tough, as demanding and as epic in its grandeur, grit and beauty than the Tour de France, but it’s a competition that has seemingly lost its way over the past few years,” said Bill Bergofin, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Promotions for VERSUS. “We wanted to tackle the issues head-on in this campaign because it will provoke a dialogue, giving both riders and fans a rallying point which will hopefully help to restore the Tour to its glory. Given the events in the recent years, it would be easy for us to turn our backs, but we want to be part of the solution.”
The multi-media campaign includes three versions of multiple length on-air spots which began airing June 9, viral films featuring current riders, several print ads, as well as the campaign specific website www.takebackthetour.com which also launched on June 9. The website is a call-to-action and includes exclusive video, an area for fans to post their views on the current state of cycling, commercial spots and print advertising, as well as information about VERSUS’ television coverage of the Tour.
“We have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give the Tour back to those who made it great,” said Griffin Stenger, Concept Farm Partner. “We are speaking to the extreme competitor in each of us and it’s time to re-focus on the soul of the sport and that’s exactly what this campaign does.”
VERSUS will air wall-to-wall coverage of the 2008 Tour de France July 5-27. On average, the network will air 14 hours of race action per day. Daily coverage includes a pre-race show followed by live race coverage, race action replays four times daily and an expanded primetime show. Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen and Bob Roll, the network’s seasoned team of cycling experts, will once again serve as the Tour commentators.
VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 73 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, Davis Cup Tennis, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can’t find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.