ITV’s Love Island lands record sponsorship deal with Uber Eats
ITV has signed up Uber Eats as the new sponsor of Love Island in a record-breaking deal that highlights the value advertisers place on targeting the increasingly hard-to-reach millennial TV audience.
It is understood that Uber Eats, taxi-hailing firm Uber’s food delivery service, has paid in the region of £5m to sponsor the hit show. This is more than double the estimated £2.25m previous sponsor Superdrug paid for the record-setting last series.
Superdrug found the proposed £3.5m opening price set by ITV of sponsoring a fourth series of the Mallorca-set reality TV show too much but serious bids from nine advertisers keen to take it on drove the value to £5m.
Love Island airs on ITV2 and this is the most money paid for a TV sponsorship for a single programme not run on a flagship channel such as the main ITV and Channel 4 stations.
ITV has secured the same sum Channel 4 squeezed out of Amazon UK to sponsor The Great British Bake Off, its biggest ratings winner, poached from the BBC for £75m over three years and aired on its flagship channel.
Since launching in 2016, Uber Eats has become a popular food delivery service among the millennial generation attracted to smartphone-led services such as Uber and its British delivery rival Deliveroo.
The last series of Love Island was the biggest hit of the year among hard-to-reach 16- to 34-year-olds – with the exception of England’s World Cup football matches – a huge draw for advertisers.
The series, won by Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham, proved to be TV gold, smashing viewing records and providing the nation’s watercooler moments over the summer.
It was the most popular series ever aired on ITV2 – viewing figures at times topped 5 million – and showed that Britain’s TV industry can still make programmes that appeal to younger audiences amid the streaming revolution.
Uber Eats’ deal marks an escalation of the delivery wars with Deliveroo and Just Eat.
In 2017, Just Eat struck a £10m-a-year deal to sponsor The X Factor, the biggest sponsorship deal for a weekly show on British TV, after TalkTalk ended its 10-year association with the reality talent show.
Earlier this month Starbucks announced a deal with Uber Eats to pilot coffee-to-your-door in London following successful trials in the US.
Uber is driving forward after almost being banned by Transport for London after being told it was not “fit and proper” to hold a private hire vehicle operator licence. In June last year Uber won a 15-month probationary licence to work in London after making sweeping changes to its practices.
Love Island has proved to be a huge money-spinner for ITV, with 11 commercial partners involved in the last series spanning product placement, brand licensing, podcast sponsors, in-store branding and exclusive product lines and merchandise.
The reality show has managed to pull off the increasingly difficult trick of getting young audiences more used to an on-demand world to tune in to a show at a set time each night. It has also become a creature of social media, with an enormous following on Instagram and more than 3 million people downloading the programme’s app for updates.
Love Island’s success also led to public screening parties around the UK, with hundreds of people heading to Boxpark Croydon in south London to watch the programme, and also the sale of 260,000 branded water bottles at £15 each.