Monday, June 7, 2010

ESPN: "Leave No Soccer Ball Unturned..."

The headline of this post is a quote by John Skipper, ESPN's EVP of Content and basically sums up their approach to broadcasting the games in the US, covering the run-up to the event and promoting both their brand and (by extension) soccer in general.

Media coverage of ESPN's efforts reflect the scale of what they're doing and just how well they're doing it. A few of the headlines I've read so far and links to the articles:

"ESPN Sets Spending Record for 2010 World Cup" (World Cup Buzz)

"Cup Runneth Over: ESPN Expects World Cup Ratings to jump 25-50%" (Sports Business Daily)

"ESPN Hires Martin Tyler as World Cup 2010 Commentator" (EPL Talk)

"ESPN Plans 230 Hours of World Cup Action" (Business Insider)

MediaWeek has the best summary so far of what they're doing:
a) Broadcasting all 64 games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC
b) 100 Hours of custom-developed content including: "Goal", "Voices of Africa", profiles of all 32 teams, "Umlando", and "The Two Escobars"
c) 4 promotional spots featuring music by U2 (one already posted on this blog)
d) Commissioned murals for each one of the 32 teams (plus 1 main Africa poster) bringing to life the story of each country

One word: Awesome.

More to come on the amazing murals shortly...

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