ESPN is launching Hometown, a new division of ESPN’s Customer Marketing and Sales group, focusing much of its media efforts around its radio affiliates' content, as well as its local digital platforms in digital and mobile.
ESPN Hometown hopes to solve some of the complexities of different sales and pricing efforts among a variation of radio markets when it comes to national brands looking for highly valuable local sports content. ESPN has some 500 radio affiliates.
“It can get challenging,” says Wendell Scott, senior vp of multimedia sales for ESPN.
In recent years, ESPN started selling some of these locally targeted media packages for national brands for distilled spirits, automotive, and other categories where a marketer might target a dozen of so markets.
Scott says: “ESPN Hometown will target specific markets with scale, through an unmatched combination of technology, personalization and team-focused content.”
Scott offers up some recent possible opportunities for national marketers. Recently, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers first spoke about the “Deflategate” issue — in which footballs were found to be under-inflated during the AFC Championship game — on the Green Bay ESPN radio affiliate.
In addition, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained, in detail, a failed decision during the last seconds of the Super Bowl on a local Seattle ESPN radio affiliate.