Original Series on Chicago Bears Fans also Includes Expansive Storytelling across Digital, Social, Print and Audio
ESPN will debut an eight-episode multi-platform original series called “We The Fans” that chronicles the lives of Chicago Bears season ticket holders in Soldier Field’s Section 250. The TV series, which premieres Tuesday, April 11, will be supported with additional elements on ESPN’s print, digital, social and audio platforms.
From the season opener through a dramatic off-season, ESPN cameras followed Chicago Bears season-ticket holders in Section 250 everywhere: The heartbreaking losses at Soldier Field, the raucous family reunion, the mid-season wedding, the struggles at home. The project takes a look at these people who come together from all over the city and all walks of life to build faith and family in the fans around them. Through a multi-part television series and innovative digital storytelling, featured content in ESPN the Magazine, native social executions and a podcast series, ESPN explores what it means to love your team, your section and your fellow fans.
“ESPN excels at producing story-driven content and “We The Fans” uniquely showcases the creativity and collaborative spirit across several of our divisions,” said Chad Millman, Vice President, Editorial Director, Domestic Digital Content. “This multi-platform project gives us an opportunity to start a dialogue about fandom and opens the door to new possibilities with sections of fans nationwide.”
The first two episodes of “We The Fans” will premiere Tuesday, April 11, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN, with two installments debuting back-to-back every Tuesday through May 2. The first four episodes will be available on WatchESPN starting April 9, and the remaining episodes will be available on WatchESPN immediately after their ESPN premieres.
Additionally, the last episode will be a special reunion show hosted by ESPN’s Sarah Spain – a Chicago native – and will feature “We The Fans” characters recapping their season and experiences that viewers saw over the previous seven episodes.
Schedule (all times ET):
|Tue, Apr 11||10 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 1||ESPN|
|10:30 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 2||ESPN|
|Tue, Apr 18||7 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 3||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 4||ESPN|
|Tue, Apr 25||7 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 5||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 6||ESPN|
|Tue, May 2||7 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 7||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||“We The Fans” Episode 8||ESPN|
ESPN Digital & Print
The digital “We The Fans” experience will be mobile-first, video-centric and capture the major characters, themes, energy and scope of the series. Users will move through a dynamic digital environment that telescopes into Section 250, offering:
- Four deep-dive stories that are not only reported essays but also move users through innovative, dynamic combinations of premium photo, chaptered short-form text, parallax highlighted elements, full-frame imagery and author audio elements.
- A portfolio of portrait images and quick-hit audio bios that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Section 250 community and testify to the devotions and connections of its diehard fans.
- A user-driven gigapan experience that encompasses the whole of the section and allows the audience to zoom in and out of stadium seats, and to tag their own connection to the place and the experience.
ESPN Radio and espnW personality Sarah Spain will host a wrap-up show podcast after each “We The Fans” episode airs. Spain will take people behind the scenes and talk to fans featured in the show about the highs and lows of sports fandom.
Robust support of digital stories and videos across all major platforms, including a custom Instagram Story ahead of the series’ TV premiere that introduces the show’s characters, fun, reactionary GIFs, and unique social-specific video mashups.