ESPN: The World Wide Leader in New Social Media?
ESPN is the self- proclaimed world-wide leader in sports. They have many different channels, a ton of different talent and former professional athletes under their employ and also have an extensive website that has, among tons of other things, a home page for each professional sports team and almost every college team (basketball and football).
ESPN has grown exponentially as a company since it started in 1979. It is now the face of American sports for most people, and is also attempting to spread its brand worldwide. ESPN considers itself to be on the cutting edge, which is both impressive and essential in the world of sports journalism.
ESPN, which funnily enough isn’t an acronym for anything (I found that out today and thought it was too interesting to be left out of this post), has embraced new social media and has used it in many different ways to enhance customer satisfaction.
While looking through website, I found tons of different uses of social media. Here they are:
– ESPN radio is broadcasted all over the nation. Not only do they have tons of different local shows on their air, but they also have some national shows that even take up some of their mid-day television time. ESPN radio is also available online with podcasts.
– ESPN has some of the most respected columnists in the nation on their “team.” Awards winner like John Clayton, Tim Kurkjian and Peter Gammons not only write columns for the website and for ESPN the Magazine, but also keep up with their respective blogs. Almost every ESPN writer has a blog and ESPN customers can read blogs that cover every bit of sports imaginable.
– ESPN has many different channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNNEWS. On these channels, they have a lot of original programming to go with the many different highlight packages and sports video stories that they produce. On the website, you can find tons of different video, ranging from full episodes of Pardon the Interruption to individual highlight packages of every game that took place the night before.
– ESPN Sportsnation is ESPN’s newest way of using social media. Sportsnation includes message boards, polls, widgets, and so on, and truly demonstrates ESPN embracing interactivity. ESPN Sportsnation is also a show which airs during their daytime programming.
– ESPN also has a message board on the home page for each professional and major college team. This board, which is of the San Francisco 49ers, is just one example of fans of a particular team being able to talk to each other about the major happenings with the team.
– ESPN has really stepped up to the social media plate with ESPN 360. ESPN 360 is online channel that has live broadcasts of live games. This is yet another example of ESPN catering to the needs of the sports fan who doesn’t have the opportunity or time to watch a game live.
– Finally, ESPN has reached such a status where all of their personalities, whether its SportsCenter anchors, game analysts, or writers, have reached celebrity level. That said, of ESPN’s people have Twitter accounts, and also use social media outlets like Facebook and MySpace. This further allows ESPN customers to get up-to-date sports news.
From a sports journalist’s perspective, ESPN is Mecca. While living on the cutting edge, a sports journalist under ESPN’s employ can use social media to get his or her name out there through chats, blogs, radio appearances, columns, TV appearances, etc.
In a blog post by Danny Brown called “The Continuum Theory of Social Media,” Brown states that “the currency of social media is a human conversation.”
ESPN is creating more and more conversations with its customers, which in the world of sports journalism, does in fact make them the worldwide leader is social media.