SBD/Issue 19/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

ESPN Signs Levi's As Presenting Sponsor For "30 For 30" Docu Series

ESPN has signed Levi's as the presenting sponsor of its documentary series "30 for 30," according to Anthony Crupi of MEDIAWEEK. Under the deal, Levi's "will lead off each film with a branded 45-second 'Director's Statement,' in which the creative force behind the camera reflects on his motivation for making [what] the movie viewers are about to see." Levi's "will close the bracket with a second Director's Statement," which will run at the end of each program. The brand also has the "option to take over a 60-second commercial pod leading into the third act." The sponsorship "extends through the first 15 films, with Levi's reserving the right of first refusal to continue on with the latter half of the series." The deal "includes integration across several ESPN platforms, including presence on the 30 for 30 micro site." Meanwhile, Crupi noted Honda is also "lending its support" to the series, serving as "associate sponsor of the first 15 films." As part of its deal, Honda "will own an isolated pod in the second act, in which it will showcase its own documentary initiative, 'Dream the Impossible.'" The Honda pod "will command between 90 and 120 seconds of airtime" (, 10/6).

SLOW OUT OF THE BLOCKS: ESPN drew a 0.5 national rating and 645,000 viewers Tuesday night for the premiere of "Kings Ransom," ESPN's first "30 for 30" documentary that tells the story of Wayne Gretzky's trade from the Oilers to the Kings. The rating is down 44% and viewership is off 46% from the "World Series of Poker" (0.9/1.2 million), which previously had occupied the time slot. "Kings Ransom" undoubtedly was hurt by the Twins-Tigers AL Central tiebreaker game, which went 12 innings (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

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