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ESPN EXTREME GAMES OFFERING GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES
Published September 23, 1994
In this week's INSIDE MEDIA, Mike Reynolds reports that ESPN is looking for six $2M sponsors for its inaugural "Extreme Games" to run on ESPN and The Deuce between June 24 and July 2 in '95. ESPN VP of Business Development Tom Hagel: "We're looking for six 'gold' sponsors. We went out with proposals to our incumbent advertisers just after Labor Day, beginning with fast-food and soft drink clients because they had expressed the most interest since we announced the Extreme Games back in April." Reynolds says the "umbrella sponsorship" packages will control approximately 70% of the program inventory and include commercial time during 22 live hours on ESPN, 19 live hours on ESPN2, as well as seven hours to be re-aired in West Coast primetime. The "gold sponsors" will also "benefit from the association with 24 hours of programming on the networks leading up to the competition," promotional vignettes, on-site hospitality, and event signage. The Extreme Games is a first step by ESPN "to expand its reach beyond that of rights holder to event marketer, controlling everything from hospitality and course design to promotion and integrated marketing packages" (Mike Reynolds, INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue). BRING ON THE 18-34 CONSUMERS: The Extreme Games, to be held in Newport, RI, will feature events in 9 "alternative sports": bungy jumping, mountain biking, sky surfing, windsurfing, kite- skiing, and barefoot jumping. "ESPN is estimating a 1.6 household rating for its universe, and a 0.9 rating within ESPN2's world" (INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue). HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ESPN: In a column this morning, Leonard Shapiro notes ESPN "has changed the viewing habits of most of America's sports fans is celebrating its [15th] anniversary this month." In addition to supplying "four times the 1,288 hours of [sports] coverage provided in 1979 by ABC, CBS, and NBC," Shapiro says that "ESPN has also made a significant impact in TV sports journalism, taking it into enterprise reporting where few major networks have dared to go" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/23). ALSO FROM INSIDE MEDIA -- HOLA, SENOR: Marty O'Loughlin reports that JSA Publishing in Santa Monica, CA, will deliver "Mundo Deportivo" [Sports World] "door-to-door in plastic bags in census tracts with a minimum of 70 percent Hispanics." The bi- monthly publication will begin February and reach 1.2M Hispanic men in LA, NY, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Dallas. "Editorially, the magazine will focus on sports that appeal most to Hispanic men, notably boxing, baseball, auto racing, and domestic and international soccer" (Marty O'Louglin, INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).