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Sky Sports’ New Focus Fund boosts content creators

Sky Sports has commissioned 10 pieces of diverse content, produced by creators who are part of its New Focus Fund initiative.

The fund is part of Sky’s £30m commitment to tackle racial injustice, remove barriers and provide opportunities for creative talent in the industry.

In a search for new and fresh ideas from diverse content makers and independent companies, 11 content creators took part in a rigorous pitch process in front of a panel of judges including racing driver and TV presenter Naomi Schiff, societal change advocate Tunde Banjoko, entrepreneur Piers Linney, and key leaders across Sky Sports.

All the creators were successful with their pitches, meaning they will now move into the final phase of production, with content commissioned to be published on Sky Sports platforms from May 2024 onwards.

Talking about the pitch process, David Carrigan, Sky’s Group Director of D&I, said: “We had an incredible day, and we were absolutely blown away by the content that was presented, and now, we’re super excited to see that come to life on our channels.”  

Schiff, ambassador to the New Focus Fund programme, said: “It’s been fantastic to see these creators on their journey of this programme, and seeing their ideas come to life was a real privilege.

“Sky Sports has provided a brilliant opportunity and platform for new talent to grow in this industry, which I’m immensely proud to be part of, and I know we all can’t wait to see the final result later this year.”

As part of the initiative, the creators took part in an eight-week programme designed to help hone their initial ideas, with support to deliver their final concepts.

The experience included a session with Sky Sports football presenter David Jones and expert analyst Jamie Carragher, as well as knowledge-sharing sessions with Sky Sports production, budgeting, and planning teams, who shared valuable insight into the roles they play.  

A series of workshops were run by internal and external sponsors including Arsenal Football Club, YouTube, Sky Sports digital & social teams, Sky Compliance & Legal, and Sky Studios, who all dedicated time to the creators to share their expertise and advice.

Steve Smith, Executive Director of Content at Sky Sports, and New Focus Fund sponsor said: “The New Focus Fund is all about reaching new audiences, with new talent and new voices, who are able to tell a story in a way that we don’t currently do at Sky Sports.

“We’re delighted to commission all the creators to produce their content. They were fantastic during the pitch process, and we are looking forward to seeing the final outcomes.” 

Paired with Sky content specialists and armed with new knowledge and approaches, the creators will now work to have their content ready to be published on relevant Sky Sports channels in 2024, with the ambition for the programme to act as a springboard for their future careers in the industry, supported by Sky Sports.

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(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source