ESPN Return Man Kicks Off Its Facebook Debut

ESPN Digital

ESPN Return Man Kicks Off Its Facebook Debut

To Tweet this release –’s most popular ESPN Arcade casual game goes social

ESPN Games and Disney Social Games have taken’s most popular ESPN Arcade casual game to Facebook with the official launch of its third collaborative social game release, ESPN Return Man.  The game is ESPN’s first playable, action-based game in the sports category, giving the most avid sports fans a chance to test their return man skills on the digital gridiron.

Players are challenged in two different game modes, each with the same goal: return the kickoff to the end zone for a touchdown.  “Blitz” gives players new levels each week to compete against other friends on Facebook, whereas “Season” takes a player from training camp, through the regular season and to the championships.  ESPN’s Herm Edwards and Trey Wingo lend their personalities and likenesses to the game as the coach and host, giving players feedback throughout the game.

High scores are achieved through speed while avoiding defenders and hazards, and players are able to equip their return man by purchasing special moves and game boosts to better their chances of running the length of the field.  With each passing yard, players can also collect perks that include collection items, bonus points, score multipliers, speed bursts and more.  Extras – including additional possessions and energy – can also be purchased with Bucks to give players an advantage over other return men.  Throughout the game, players can gift items to friends to help them out with their returns.  Those who achieve higher scores than their friends can also talk smack to them through leaderboards.  Additionally, sports fans will never be far away from the latest news in the sports world while playing ESPN Return Man.  Players can pipe a live feed of ESPN Radio through the sound system and receive the latest sports news via ESPN Ticker – all while playing ESPN Return Man.

ESPN Return Man is the social game that passionate sports fans have been waiting for, and players of the original version on ESPN Arcade will find it much more challenging,” said Raphael Poplock, Vice President, Games and Partnerships at ESPN.  “We’re excited to finally introduce our first playable, action-based game to fans, and our collaboration with Disney Social Games continues to produce some of the best games in the sports category.”

ESPN Return Man has already proven itself as an incredibly fun hit for millions of wanna-be return men on ESPN Arcade, so it only made sense to bring it to the growing audience of Facebook gamers,” said Mike Rubinelli, Vice President, Studio Operations at Disney Social Games.  “We think fans are going to love having the chance to challenge their friends and compete with each other to dominate the leaderboards.”

The popular casual game on has received 40 million gameplays since its launch, and generates five times the amount of traffic as the second most popular game on ESPN Arcade.  It was also the second most searched term on in the first six months of 2011.

Facebook users can test their kick return skills with ESPN Return Man at:

For images, click here.

About ESPN Games

ESPN has a significant presence in the gaming space across multiple platforms.  It signed a major distribution deal with Microsoft in 2010 to deliver ESPN on Xbox LIVE, with live events from ESPN3, video on demand clips from and more to the Xbox LIVE platform on Xbox 360 consoles.  In the same year, ESPN collaborated with Playdom – a leading developer of social games – which marked ESPN’s debut in the social gaming space with the introduction of its first title in September 2010 with ESPNU College Town, the largest domestic sports app ever on Facebook.’s casual games destination, ESPN Arcade, logged the most average time spent per visit site-wide in 2011, according to Adobe/Omniture.

ESPN’s long-standing relationship with EA produces deep brand integrations into console gaming titles such as EA NCAA Football 12 and Fight Night Champion.  Additionally, the relationship in 2011 produced the biggest ESPN poll vote ever for the Madden NFL 12 cover vote, logging 13 million votes, the most ESPN votes ever for a joint collaboration.  The Emmy award-winning EA Virtual Playbook also most recently extended to boxing and golf in 2011.  And ESPN Baseball Tonight returned for the 2011 season with new in-studio technology for Virtual Pitch developed in collaboration with Sony and their MLB The Show title for PlayStation 3 consoles.


Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.
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