Today ESPN announced the return of the Fan Hall of Fame, an institution that celebrates extraordinary sports fandom. The initiative, now in its second year, will induct the three most remarkable and inspiring fans, after a nationwide search and integrated campaign across ESPN’s platforms. The three final winners will have their names engraved in a permanent place of honor: three stadium chairs, placed on the lawn of ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus.
Starting today through Nov. 18, fans of any sport throughout the United States and Canada* can enter the competition by submitting an application on FanHallofFame.com that explains why they deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to submit and share their own images to the website to support their case.
The ten finalists, selected by a diverse panel of judges, will be announced on Dec. 2. ESPN will also produce video segments of each of the final contestants sharing their unique stories of fandom. The videos will be available on the Fan Hall of Fame website, where voting will take place Dec. 2 to Dec. 11. Final inductees will be revealed on Dec. 13 and honored at an induction ceremony in 2014.
“At ESPN, we hear countless incredible stories of fandom each day,” said Jeffrey Gonyo, senior director of sports marketing at ESPN. “With this institution, we want to recognize some of the most extraordinary sports fans out there and honor them with a permanent place in the Hall of Fame.”
This year’s judges include:
- Neil Everett – SportsCenter Anchor
- Mike Greenberg – Mike & Mike Co-Host
- Jackie MacMullan – ESPN Sports Writer and Around the Horn Commentator
- Irving Rein, PHD – Professor of Communications Studies, Northwestern
- Hannah Storm – SportsCenter Anchor
- Stan Verrett – SportsCenter Anchor
- The Green Men – 2012 Inductee
- Captain Defense – 2012 Inductee
- Emily Pitek – 2012 Inductee
This year’s campaign introduces a revamped website as well as a 30-second TV spot, each developed in collaboration with RED Interactive and 77 Ventures, respectively. In addition to promotional support through social, digital and radio, the initiative’s name was changed from “Hall of Fans” to “The Fan Hall of Fame,” in order to elevate the institutional and aspirational nature of the program.
Last year’s inductees included Vancouver Canucks fans and legendary Green Men “Sully” and “Force,” Baltimore Ravens icon “Captain Dee-Fense” and the University of Alabama softball team’s Emily Pitek. Nearly 50,000 votes were cast in the inaugural year of the competition.
Fans can follow the competition on social media using the hashtag #FanHallofFame or visit FanHallofFame.com.