Soccer is the national sport of Mexico -- and to build excitement for the team, en route to the World Cup in June, ESPN Deportes is debuting a new TV series. "Frente al Reto," which runs seven consecutive Mondays through March 29, chronicles the personal and professional challenges the country's top soccer stars face.
The documentary-style show is the network's first major foray into developing content outside of studio-produced efforts. "Frente al Reto" gives fans an inside look at various players, including Andres Guardado (Deportivo La Coruna), Jonny Magallon (Club Deportivo de Guadalajara) and Giovanni Dos Santos (Galatasaray). "Frente" is produced in collaboration with Walton Isaacson.
Juan Alfonso, vice president, marketing and content development, ESPN International, stated the program's objective is to "show viewers their idols are more than just a face on a television screen and a player on the field. These are people with everyday challenges, insecurities and an enormous set of expectations on their shoulders."
Historians, trainers, coaches, and family members are interviewed, along with soccer stars. A common theme of each episode is perseverance -- on or off the field. That message underscores "Frente" presenting sponsor Degree Men, which is also the official antiperspirant of the national soccer team.
ESPN Deportes has woven the product's messaging into the essence of the brand's campaign theme: "Siempre Enfrenta El Reto" (Always Take on the Challenge.) The series illustrates both the high-intensity performance of the players and Degree Men's reliability. The brand will air five commercials during each half-hour episode.
In addition to TV exposure, Degree Men's branding will extend to radio, as well as a microsite created exclusively for the series. Mindshare, Degree Men's media agency of record, handled media planning.
An ESPN Deportes and Walton Isaacson crew traveled for several months to England, Holland, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the U.S. to shoot the players and conduct more than 100 interviews.