ESPN adopts mobile first approach to recover from Premier League rights loss

ESPN is to use its suite of mobile apps to spearhead its charge to reposition itself among digital-savvy audiences after the loss of its top-flight British footballing rights, and the entry of big-spending BT Sport. 

espn

The Disney-owned sports broadcaster had reportedly mulled an exit from the UK after losing TV broadcasting rights for Barclay’s Premier League matches from the 2013/14 season to BT Sport, plus the exclusive mobile highlights package to the Sun and Times publisher News UK.  

But it is now hoping the upcoming launch of its ESPN UK app, plus an overhaul of its ESPN Goals offering, will help establish the broadcaster among audiences that primarily use their mobile devices to interact with peers around sports content. 

ESPN paired with digital specialist agency DigitasLBi on how to position the app towards digital audiences, including which functionality and content to include, in order to tap into existing user behaviours.  

ESPN UK is a feed-based app, similar to Facebook or Twitter, that aggregates content from across the broadcaster’s portfolio of brands, such as ESPNFC and ESPNcricinfo, as well as third-party content, such as a fan’s favourite soccer team’s official Twitter feed.   

Anil Nair, ESPN’s director of mobile product development for EMEA, says: “We have a wealth of content across all our brands and this brings them together in a single place with a new interface.” 

The strategy of predominantly targeting ‘mobile first’ audiences for the first time represents a significant shift in its strategy, according to Nair. “It [ESPN UK’s target market] has the kind of people that always have Twitter and Facebook on their phones… the information just keeps coming at you,” he adds.   

ESPN also hopes to reactivate the 3.5 million users who downloaded the earlier version of its ESPN Goals app, which will now be “repositioned as a live scores app”, by using it to cross-promote the new aggregation app, according to Nair. Brands including William Hill, Lucozade and SkyBet are among the debut advertisers on the new app, plus ESPN claims it is in discussion with several others ahead of its scheduled launch later this week.   

Recommended

RVP-Person-2013_304

Robin van Persie named Premier League’s ‘most marketable’ player

Seb Joseph

The Premier League kicks off again this weekend and sponsors will be hoping its top players are match-sharp to raise the appeal of their brands worldwide. At the front of sponsorship scouts’ little black books is Manchester United’s Robin van Persie who has beaten Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere and Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale to be crowned the League’s most marketable player, according to the latest celebrity brand tracking data.

Secret Marketer

Should we deal with only ethical customers?

David Coveney

This week I attended our CSR board meeting. My brand takes corporate responsibility seriously – the chief executive takes a personal interest, as does the board. I’m sure this is common in many companies these days. Brand reputation is a defining point in meeting the needs of demanding customers.

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Discover even more as a subscriber

    This article is available for subscribers only.

    Sign up now for your access-all-areas pass.

    If you're an existing paid print subscriber find out how to get access here.

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now

    Got a question?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

    If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here

    Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to unrivalled coverage of the biggest issues in marketing, alongside practical advice from the digital experts at Econsultancy.

    With a subscription to Marketing Week Premium you will get full access to:

    > World-renowned columnists

    > Analysis & case studies

    > Exclusive leading-edge insight

    > Carefully curated reports & briefings from Econsultancy

    > Plus, much more including a £300 discount for the Festival of Marketing

    Subscribe now