Thursday, May 21, 2009

ESPN Plans Huge 2010 World Cup Media Blitz

Remember ESPN's ‘One Game Changes Everything’ ad campaign for the 2006 World Cup in Germany?

Simple. Poignant. Brilliant.

On Tuesday, ESPN
executive vice president of content John Skipper said the network plans its "biggest marketing campaign ever" for the 2010 World Cup.

All 64 games will be shown on ESPN, America's biggest sports network. Skipper said the "One Game Changes Everything" byline may return next year.

Word of ESPN's emphasis on the World Cup comes after it suffered a setback with soccer programming last month, losing North American rights to the UEFA Champions League to the Fox Soccer Channel, a channel not as widely distributed in the States.

ESPN owns the rights to the World Cup through 2014 -- games are carried on Internet hub and mobile platforms, as well as ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC. No ads run during the game action, but sponsors receive on-air mention, as well as an opportunity to place a logo on-screen next to the score line.

MY POV: Soccer isn't a popular sport in America. But big tournaments like Euro 2008 and the World Cup generate significant ad revenue for the networks. It's surprising that Americans shun the domestic league (MLS), yet can't get enough once the big tournaments appear.

Just goes to show the American public will pay for quality football, much like the rest of the world.

Glad to see ESPN's continued commitment to the game, in lieu of losing the Champions League to Fox Soccer earlier this year.

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