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SBD/Issue 15/Sports Media
ESPN Prepping New Web Site Dedicated To Girls' High School Sports
Published October 2, 2009
|ESPN Working On Girls'
High School Sports Site
SCHOOL SPIRIT: In Ft. Lauderdale, Cabrera Chirinos & Talalay noted St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Ft. Lauderdale) plays Byrnes High School (Duncan, SC) on ESPNU Friday night in the "biggest prep football game in the country" this weekend. The teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in USA Today's national poll, and "keeping an eye on the outcome will be executives from major corporations" such as ESPN, Nike, Old Spice and Gatorade. Those companies each have a "stake in Friday's game and [have] targeted high school sports as one of the next great markets." Nike has put up banners at St. Thomas this week "picturing the Raiders team mascot and Nike's iconic logo" across campus. ESPN is televising 22 high school football games this year -- up from 19 last year -- and advertisers are becoming involved in the broadcasts in part due to the "growth of college sports," as college sports fans are "eager to watch future stars now" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/1). Meanwhile, in Miami, Fred Grimm wrote under the header, "Exploiting Sports Prodigies Now Is ESPN." ESPN has been in the "business of exploiting high school football games since 2005," as the net has "taken to contriving games between distant winning high school programs previously happy to stay in their own vicinity" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/1).