How Accenture Used A Mobile App To Get On The BBC

When the consulting firm’s logo appeared routinely in Six Nations rugby broadcast graphics this weekend, James Cridland was amongst the viewers to ask: “Accenture advertises on BBC Sport – how?

Sponsorship on the license-funded BBC in the UK is strictly forbidden. But the workaround, for Accenture, was to build a mobile app…

Back in January, the RBS 6 Nations tournament anointed Accenture with “official technology partner” status. That’s a relatively new trend, but not entirely – 12 months ago, the Barclays Premier League gave Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) the same status.

To earn the status, technology partners must each provide a service to the tournament. EA provided match data. Accenture built the official Six Nations mobile application, with tournament news, live scores, squad lists, tables and video highlights.

Broadcasters are frequently bound, by the terms of their contracts with tournaments they air, to show the brands of these supposedly integral tournament partners. EA got to show its logo alongside live on-screen match facts on Sky Sports. Accenture’s logo is displayed along with rugby scores broadcast to by the BBC, Ireland’s RTE etc. Many other broadcasters do the same for many other sports.

What’s interesting here is Accenture is not just providing a private partner service to the tournament but, through the mobile app, is itself providing to the tournament’s end audience the same kind of content media consumers might expect to obtain from an organisation like the BBC

BBC Sport gave paidContent this statement…

“Accenture are the official data supplier for The Six Nations and as a technology company are responsible for providing the statistics for The Championships. This ‘facility’ is available to all partners/media covering the event.

“The relationship is between ‘Six Nations Rugby Limited’ and ‘Accenture’. In accordance with BBC and EBU guidelines (which provide for the crediting of official data processing and timing suppliers) the BBC credits Accenture as official data supplier on a number of occasions throughout the match.

“For television, a corporate logo accompanies a select number of statistical match graphics. This is common practice, industry wide, and should not be confused with reflections given to event title sponsors.”

We run this story in the interest of clarification and curiosity and not necessarily as a BBC-bashing piece.