ESPN, YouTube and AT&T Team Up to Showcase Amateur Athletes
ESPN and YouTube introduce Your Highlight, an innovative program that will provide amateur athletes nationwide the opportunity to showcase their sports highlights for a chance to be featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter and YouTube. AT&T is the exclusive sponsor of the program, which will kick off on September 8 and run through December 16.
The entry process is simple. All fans need to do is upload their content to the designated Your Highlight section on YouTube at www.youtube.com/espn. Producers from SportsCenter will highlight top clips each week, and then determine four finalists during the last week of the program. Fan voting will help determine the winner, who will not only be featured on SportsCenter but also receive a VIP trip to Bristol, Conn., to watch a SportsCenter taping.
In a groundbreaking cross-platform collaboration between TV and online video the program will receive significant cross-promotional support from both ESPN and You Tube. ESPN media support will include television, online and mobile screens, coupled with integrated promotions on YouTube, including a run-of site campaign and an assortment of high-profile placements.
“This is a groundbreaking program that will allow us to engage with our fans on a whole different level,” said Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales. “Great amateur sports videos are a significant trend on YouTube, garnering millions of views. By combining the scale and reach of our respective platforms, we’re reaching fans in a whole new way and giving select fans a chance to be a part of ESPN’s signature, marquee show.”
Added Chris Maxcy, head of content partnerships at YouTube, ”YouTube is the home for incredible sports moments from amateur athletes all over the world – from high school basketball buzzer-beaters to over-55 softball home runs and everything in-between. We’re thrilled to work with ESPN and AT&T to provide talented athletes of all descriptions with the opportunity to have their great sports moments amplified on SportsCenter and YouTube.”
Chris Schembri, vice president of media services for AT&T, said, “We’re always working to ‘rethink possible’ at AT&T, so supporting a platform that gives nonprofessional athletes the chance to show how they’re pushing boundaries – rethinking possible in their sports – is a great fit for our brand.”
The ESPN channel on YouTube launched in July of 2009. In that time the channel has featured thousands of clips of ESPN content, including highlights from major sporting events, original ESPN programming and breaking news. SportsCenter Right Now — a twice-daily capsule of top sports stories – is featured, as well as clips from Outside the Lines, E:60, Mike and Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn. Special programming packages have also been created around events like the X Games and the ESPYs.
YouTube is the world’s most popular online video community allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC is based in San Bruno, CA and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
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 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes) and ESPN 3D, an event-based network. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS HD are simulcast services. Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com (broadband sports network) ESPN Mobile, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, and other growing new businesses including ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., 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.