- ESPN hosts 6-hour Basketball event for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
- London basketball fans celebrate March Madness and University hoops
Last Friday, ESPN hosted a basketball event at University East London’s SportsDock to celebrate university basketball among its UK following. Raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and working alongside British Universities & College Sport (BUCS), ESPN held a six-hour basketball game and welcomed participants to the ESPN Player lounge, where March Madness® games were shown live from the USA.
Over 100 people took part in a very competitive game, which finished 272 – 255. Players and spectators alike were treated with food, drink and chances to win prizes that included NCAA jerseys, an iPad and ESPN Player subscriptions just in time for March Madness®.
Basketball is one of the biggest participation sports in the UK, with a report from Sport England revealing that 301,000 people play the sport each month and with the low cost of equipment needed to play, basketball has few barriers to entry and has continued to grow in terms of participation over the years. Competitions like the BUCS Basketball Finals (part of BUCS Big Wednesday) and the London Metropolitan Basketball League, and the many basketball clubs dotted around the capital offer chances for people to play basketball, yet the sport doesn’t usually command the same media interest as football or rugby.
Charlie Boss, Head of Marketing, ESPN EMEA, said: “When it comes down to it, we’re fans of basketball and believers in the role of sport in the university experience. So it seemed fitting to celebrate March Madness® and our coverage on ESPN Player, while also reaching out to the passionate basketball community in the UK and celebrating the game here as well.”
ESPN Player is available online, on iPad and recently launched on Samsung and LG Smart TVs.
With the levels of passion and enjoyment on show, the night was a success as many people demonstrated extreme levels of fitness by signing up to play for four and in some cases six hours.
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Photos courtesy of Simon Roe