Bristol, Conn. – ESPN today announced the launch of Section 140 – a social networking tool that will help college football fans to connect, comment and banter about the game they’re watching or attending in real time with other fans. Sponsored by Windows phone and inspired by the character limit on Twitter and SMS, Section 140 will be the destination for mobile and online interaction during live sporting events. Universal McCann served as the media agency for the unique social media venture.
Section 140 will be featured prominently in ESPN’s College GameDay each weekend, beginning October 10 with Florida at LSU. Section 140 will live across ESPN digital platforms, including ESPN Mobile, ESPN.com and ESPN360.com through features like Scoreboards, GameCast and Alerts. Promotional elements for Section 140 will run on-air, online, on mobile and on radio to build awareness among fans each week. A dedicated Section 140 application for Windows phone users will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Section 140 also introduces a new interactive feature on ESPN.com titled Virtual Pressbox. From noon – 6 p.m. ET every Saturday, as well as most Thursday and Saturday nights, ESPN will have a pool of experts interacting with fans and driving conversations around the biggest games of the weekend. Experts scheduled to participate include: national college football columnists Ivan Maisel, Pat Forde and Mark Schlablach as well as writers who cover specific conferences for ESPN.com (including ACC, SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten, etc.). The application will also bridge a number of social media platforms and feature real-time stats and polls in a multimedia fan experience.
“Windows phones provide seamless access to the things that matter most, putting people one step closer to work life balance,” said Todd Peters, corporate vice president, mobile communication marketing group at Microsoft. “Section 140 is a great example of this, it helps connects sports fans to the game in a new and personal way and establishes community. Plus, fans can now do this using the latest selection of Windows phones, which provide a new touch-friendly user interface and great mobile browser experience making it even easier to participate in Section 140. We are pleased to collaborate with ESPN to bring Section 140 to college football fans everywhere.”
Added Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales, “We see some of our highest mobile web usage during college football season, which makes this the ideal time to roll out Section 140. That peak usage, combined with the launch of new Windows phones, helped to make this program come together seamlessly.”
At launch, a Section 140 will be built for every Division 1 college football game throughout the season. Future plans include rolling out Section 140 for other sports
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (45 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360.com (Broadband), ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.