Working alongside Sky Bet during the 2018/19 EFL season has been an exciting and enjoyable experience for the JMPUK team. Our role over this past season has been to produce EFL-specific content for Sky Bet’s social media channels, focusing on four main strands: On The Inside, Retrospective, Football’s Real Stories and Jimmy Bullard’s Changing Places.

The latter focuses on former professional footballer turned TV presenter Bullard swapping roles with people who work within the football industry.

For this special episode of Changing Places, Sky Bet decided to mix things up and team up with the WAW (World Association Of Wrestling). Instead of swapping with someone within football, Bullard was challenged to swap roles with Grant Holt.

From playing professional football to becoming a WAW superstar

In May 2018, former Norwich City striker Grant Holt, who scored 192 career goals – 153 of them in league games from the Premier League to League Two – decided to pursue a new career as a professional wrestler in the WAW.

The organisation is a British professional wrestling promotion founded by Ricky Knight, Sweet Saraya and Jimmy Ocean in Norwich 25 years ago – and was where WWE superstar Paige (the daughter of Knight and Sweet Saraya) began her journey to the top. The family’s life in wrestling was depicted in the recent Hollywood film Fighting with my Family, directed by Stephen Merchant and featuring Vince Vaughn and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Although Holt’s change in career may seem a strange choice to most, he’s not the only footballer who has changed to a wrestling superstar. In 2016, former Germany and Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Tim Wiese retired from football to pursue a career in the WWE in America.

The brief and how we delivered our final cut

The JMPUK team were given the task of capturing Jimmy Bullard’s transformation from the every day to a wrestling pro.

We achieved this by using a high-end camera kit such as the Ronin to capture the movement of the wrestlers, as well as capturing the character of Bullard and Holt. This meant we were able to deliver on the brief from Sky Bet.

The final cut

Activation

The project was showcased on various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. This allowed Sky Bet to reach a wide audience, creating high levels of engagement.

Here are some stats Sky Bet generated from their social platforms:

  • Reached nearly 1.6 million people across all channels.
  • Acquired nearly a million views across all channels.
  • Only one piece of video content has acquired more views on Facebook this season
    (July 2018-present), and that was also a piece which JMPUK produced.
  • The piece achieved over 7k engagements on Facebook (shares, comments and clicks).
  • To nullify the threat of a lot of under-18s watching this content, Sky Bet took the approach of age-gating the video on YouTube. This makes it very difficult accessibility-wise on the platform, but despite this, it has still clocked up an impressive 41k views.

Client thoughts:

“This was always going to be a fun but difficult piece of content to crack, but with the team of experts we work alongside at JMPUK, the final edit definitely produced the results we were looking for. It showcased exactly what Sky Bet as a brand are about, providing entertaining content through the use of contracted talent, in this case, Jimmy Bullard.”

Matthew Flanagan (Senior Social Media Community Manager at Sky Betting & Gaming)