ESPN Debuts Innovative Ad Sponsorships with Facebook, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and State Farm for Highly Anticipated Documentary Series “The Last Dance”

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ESPN Debuts Innovative Ad Sponsorships with Facebook, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and State Farm for Highly Anticipated Documentary Series “The Last Dance”

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ESPN adds Facebook, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and State Farm® as presenting sponsors of the highly anticipated 10-part documentary series, The Last Dance,” which will air on ESPN in the U.S. over five weeks from April 19 through May 17. The series chronicles Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls with never-before-seen footage from the 1997-98 season as the team pursued its sixth NBA championship in eight years.

Special feature content for each episode will be presented by the following:

  • Facebook presents “Trivia,” revealing surprising and impressive stats on the Bulls dynasty and the NBA in the 1990s
  • State Farm presents “The Vault,” showcasing content from the ESPN archives
  • Reese’s brand presents “Remember When,” recalling stories about the dominant Bulls championship team from the ‘90s

As part of Facebook’s sponsorship, ESPN will deliver exclusive Facebook and Instagram programming to interact with fans. This includes pre- and post-show Facebook Live broadcasts hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth and Sarah Spain on the ESPN Page and an exclusive Instagram Live pre-show via the SportsCenter account. The pre-shows will stream 30 minutes before “The Last Dance” airs each Sunday, while the Facebook Live post-show will air immediately after.

State Farm has also signed on as the presenting sponsor of “Jalen & Jacoby: The After Show,” a live digital exclusive show with ESPN’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby. The show – which will stream live across various social media channels including Facebook and the ESPN App immediately after each night’s episodes – will feature reactions and a conversation with the director of “The Last Dance,” Jason Hehir (“The Fab Five,” “The ’85 Bears,” “Andre the Giant”).

ESPN CreativeWorks, ESPN’s in-house creative agency – in close collaboration with Optimum Sports and Translation – also teamed up with State Farm to create a custom spot driving awareness and tune-in for the documentary. The spot features SportsCenter anchor, Kenny Mayne, transported to the SportsCenter desk in 1998 as he reports that the Chicago Bulls have won their second three-peat. The spot is currently running across ESPN linear platforms with a :06 version of the promotion running on Snapchat.

“We’re proud to have this amazing collection of sponsors for this special, and even more proud of the innovative and custom content our teams developed,” said, Sean Hanrahan, senior vice president, Sports Brand Solutions, Disney Advertising Sales. “The appetite for quality sports programming is evident and we’ll continue to bring brands closer to the connections a franchise like ‘The Last Dance’ will deliver.”

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Kristie Adler

Kristie is Director of Communications for ESPN's Digital, Distribution, Strategy, Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Research divisions. She graduated from Penn State University and is based in New York City.
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