Sportsnet takes on Deadpool as its newest host

A 30-minute special featured the offbeat superhero showcasing the biggest sports blunders of the season, all to promote the upcoming movie sequel.

A special episode of Misplays of the Month came to Sportsnet this week, and it featured a very recognizable new commentator.

Misplays of the Season, a special edition of the Misplays of the Month series, featured a 30-minute compilation of all of the zany and whacky plays from the most recent NBA and NHL seasons. Regular host Caroline Szwed was joined by none other than superhero Deadpool himself, who offered up his own reactions and commentary. The integration is part of 20th Century Fox Canada’s promotion for the upcoming movie Deadpool 2.

It’s the first time Sportnset has created an entire standalone show as part of a collaboration with a major film studio.

Sam Nasrawi, director of digital brand and content for Sportsnet, told MiC the integration was relatively natural because the built-in audience for the character of Deadpool fits well with Sportsnet’s own audience. “The way we were able to strategically place it into our content made sense,” he said. “That’s the biggest challenge with branded content today, in general. Sometimes it’s, ‘Oh, there’s a tax company and they want to be integrated.’ There’s a bigger challenge in that integration.”

The concept of Misplays of the Season, which Nasrawi said matches the cheeky and irreverent humour that the offbeat superhero is known for, is one the network thought audiences would find appealing. “There’s nothing more fun than watching guys who get paid ridiculous amounts of money just be human,” he said. “They swing, they miss.”

Deadpool was also integrated into custom countdowns, on-set integrations, commercial takeovers and custom features. The 30-minute special premiered April 30 on Sportsnet One and will appear on this channel and Sportsnet 360 regularly until Deadpool 2 hits the big screen May 18.

Twentieth Century Fox worked with Zenith on the media buy and integration.