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Volume 24 No. 156
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FS Detroit Debuting Football Week In Michigan To Capitalize On Busy Schedule

Buoyed by the success of Hockey Day in Minnesota and Basketball Day in Indiana, FS Detroit is rolling out a similar program around football and expanding it to a week. The RSN is publicizing Football Week in Michigan from Nov. 18-25, having started a bus tour around the state earlier this week. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder issued a proclamation last month declaring the week as Football Week in Michigan. “When I looked at the schedule, I realized pretty quickly that the week of Thanksgiving lined up unbelievably well to showcase not just Big Ten football but our high school football and the Lions-Vikings game that’s all happening within an eight-day span,” said FS Detroit Senior VP & GM Greg Hammaren. All the games will be carried on Fox networks, either the broadcast network, FS1, BTN or FS Detroit. “Ultimately, I’m trying to raise the awareness for all of the great football that’s happening on all the Fox networks this weekend,” Hammaren said. The more than 50 hours of programming planned will include Ohio State-Michigan and Maryland-Michigan State games, plus the Lions-Vikings Thanksgiving Day game, all of which will be carried by the Fox broadcast channel. The RSN will carry various high-school championship games from around the state during the week.

MULTIYEAR DEAL FOR WEEK SPONSOR: Kroger signed a three-year deal giving it the title sponsorship of the week, which will allow it to collect donations for the store’s hunger campaign and host mini-tailgates at Kroger stores. “We’ll keep this going for years,” Hammaren said. “We’ll need to tweak it in year two when the Michigan-Ohio State game will be in Columbus and the Lions game will probably be on CBS.” The campaign is designed to show the cooperation between Fox, FS1 and the RSN. “NFL on Fox” will participate in the week, with Curt Menefee, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson making guest appearances. Some members of FS1’s lineup, including Rob Stone and Matt Leinart, will follow suit. The RSN is promoting a bus tour that will stop at six cities around the state, visiting high-school pep rallies. Since this is the first year of Football Week in Michigan, Hammaren said he does not know what to expect. But since there is such a big tune-in campaign, he said he wants to set a linear TV ratings record for OSU-Michigan. “Setting the bar is hard to do,” he said. “After this year, I’ll have a base level of response to this promotion.”