Sundance Channel, through a new branded-entertainment strategy, wants to add on-air multiplatform sponsorships to its independent programming lineup next year.
The new sponsorship model will allow Sundance -- which is owned by NBC Universal, Showtime Networks and Robert Redford -- to create content-based marketing platforms, rather than offering traditional ad spots.
Sundance, thus, joins competitor The Independent Film Channel, which created a specialized in-house department last August in the hunt for sponsorship dollars and client partnerships.
To facilitate this strategy, Kirk Iwanowski, who had been serving as senior vice president of marketing, will oversee all integrated-sponsorship sales and branded-entertainment initiatives across Sundance on-air, online, video-on-demand and wireless properties as executive VP of marketing, branded entertainment and sponsorship.
He said Sundance had yet to reach any such sponsorship agreements.
Messages would be integrated into Sundance created or acquired series content, interstitial shorts and branded weekly destinations. Such integrated content would not interrupt feature films and documentaries, and would likely run before the airing of original series and documentaries.