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USSF AND IMG AIM TO TARGET CHILDREN IN NEW PARTNERSHIP

          In its new partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation,
     IMG will distribute the "friendly" games that men's and
     women's USSF teams play against other countries between
     World Cup matches, and no World Cup or MLS games will be
     included, according to Steve Donohue of ELECTRONIC MEDIA. 
     In discussing the deal, IMG Senior Exec VP Bob Cain said,
     "It's hard to think that it (soccer) will do anything but
     keep growing.  The dividend will start paying years from
     now." As part of the agreement, IMG will distribute at least
     10 hours of children's soccer programming, with Nickelodeon
     as a "potential cable carrier."  IMG hopes to "build the
     sport by attracting younger demographics."  ESPN
     VP/Programming Steve Risser said that the net, which has a
     deal with the USSF that expires this year, sees soccer as a
     "growth sport," but "isn't ready to commit to buying more
     than 14 games each year."  IMG is "targeting" Lifetime as a
     "solid candidate" to air women's games.  ESPN's Risser said
     that another challenge is scheduling, as the USSF schedules
     its games 60 days in advance, while ESPN "tries to program"
     its schedule 90 days in advance (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 4/27).

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ESPN, IMG, MLS, Walt Disney

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