SBD/April 19, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

ESPN Publishes List Of Personalities With Sports-Related Endorsements

ESPN's Little, Masekela, Andrews, Van Pelt must end sports-related endorsements
ESPN yesterday published a list of endorsements held by its personalities, part of the company's ongoing effort to "address news stories and public criticism about the issue," according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Footwear and apparel companies, especially Nike, "figure prominently in the list of companies with endorsement deals with ESPN personnel." Nike has deals with 25 ESPN personalities, followed by adidas (six), Under Armour (four) and Reebok and Converse (one each). This list follows "last week's publication of a revised endorsement policy by ESPN" (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/18). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes of the 57 ESPN personalities on the list, only four -- Scott Van Pelt, Erin Andrews, Sal Masekela and Jamie Little -- are "not former players or coaches." Because ESPN exempts its analysts "who are former players and coaches from its new policy," it "won't have many real-world consequences ... and doesn't touch announcers' many endorsements coming from outside the sports world." Hiestand notes the "announcers with the most endorsements come from ESPN's product-driven X Games" (USA TODAY, 4/19). Officials at CBS, Fox, NBC and Turner Sports said that they "would not follow ESPN's lead by listing their announcers' endorsements" on their websites (N.Y. TIMES, 4/19).
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