If you’re looking for a sure fire investment in these tough economic times why not try your brand? The good people at the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) have invested in the sports fan and their beloved teams. ESPN is the same company that made poker, spelling bees, xtreme sports, youth sports (Little League World Series), and arena football reach national popularity and exposure to the sports community. Quietly ESPN has designed and implemented a suite of social media networks, blogs, rss feeds, podcasts, and all of those web 2.0 tools that companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are given credit for making mainstream.
This broadband network for live sports viewing in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Europe takes web based content to a whole new level. It’s like combining a webinar and TV show together to get your perfect blend of interaction and customized content viewing. Sure it’s great having the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV on six screens at once, but with DVR we’ve all been spoiled. What DVR can’t give you is the ability to tell network executives I want to see more of this and this and this. ESPN 360 allows you to create your own viewing schedule giving input to the programming along and dictate what should be shown as a result of your viewing patterns. Think Joe Johnson choked on the line against the Celtics? Go back, watch it again with the rest of the 360 world.
Feel the rage of Longhorn nation after the BCS debacle, awkwardness of Charles Barkley’s comments, and the exuberance of Cedric Jackson. The pulse of the sports community beats as one at SportsNation. Polls, blogs, forums, chat rooms, surveys, and of course all the latest sports news can be found at ESPN’s social media community. Special interactive chat sessions occur daily where members are allowed to ask questions of coaches, players, and ESPN personalities such as Stuart Scott, Scott Van Pelt, Chad Ford, Oscar De La Hoya, Carmelo Anthony, Johnny Bench, and more. In the United States of America we’re given the freedom of speech and to vote, in SportsNation you receive these same freedoms. You can participate in polls, surveys, and interact in message boards as much as TO is in the news, all the time. Create your own personal profile competing in contests and Fantasy Sports. Facebook may be the largest social network on the planet, but they may want to find a way to invoke the same kind of passion as the SportsNation users do on a daily basis.
ESPN Sports Passport
Teaming up with Orbitz.com, ESPN released ESPN Sports Passport on August 14th, 2008 becoming ESPN’s the newest and latest web 2.0 tool. Were you at Yankee Stadiums last game? How about the Breeders Cup? Or maybe you’re one of those guys that travels to every MLB Stadium during the summer? Wherever you may travel, and whatever event you may attend, you can keep track of everything using ESPN Sports Passport.
Document the games and venues you’ve attended with the ability to write your own memories from the game, upload photos, and link directly to the box score of the game. With their own citysearch-esque system you can review and vote on the venues you’ve attended while sharing everything with your friends.
Then seamlessly implemented is the Sports Travel page allowing fans to find vacation packages, venue deals, and everything you need to plan your next sports venue experience. ESPN is your new passport to the sports fantasy of your dreams.
Time is money and if the US automakers have taught us anything you’ll implement the forward thinking and planning that ESPN has exhibited with these web 2.0 tools. You might not be a sports fan, but it doesn’t take a Fortune 500 company CEO to see that creating and implementing a social platform for your consumers will pay dividends in the near future. Put the ball in your users court and connect with them. You’ll be able to leverage their satisfaction to promote and enhance your brand naturally. Give your customers home field advantage and they’ll carry the torch well beyond the finish line.