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ESPN plans live ads to promote live SportsCenters

(Credit: Watchdog)

Say what you want about SportsCenter, but it's indisputable that ESPN long has done a great job on the commercials promoting itself.

Its latest stunt sounds interesting: A series of live commercials featuring one of its own staffers as a way of promoting the new live SportsCenters that debut Aug. 11.

Here is a cute story about it in USA Today, which gets stuff like this leaked to it in advance by every national network. Not that I'm resentful or anything, but . . . well, OK, I am. But only a little. Because I understand the motivation.

Click below for the official ESPN news release that came out today, after the USA Today story.On Sunday, July 27, ESPN will launch one of its most ambitious and groundbreaking promotional ad campaigns to date. Featuring a LIVE format of innovative spots, the campaign is designed to showcase the network’s new live morning SportsCenter block, which premieres Monday, Aug. 11 -- the opening week of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Created by Wieden + Kennedy and produced by ESPN, the LIVE ads will feature 25-year-old Steve Braband - an actual ESPN employee - who will serve as the face of the campaign. ESPN is scheduled to air as many as 25 :30 spots per day for 15 days.

“We’ve been doing live TV since day one, but this is a big change for SportsCenter,” said Katie Lacey, ESPN senior vice president, marketing. “This concept seemed like a fun way to tell our viewers about the improvements to the show and to draw back the curtain and let them inside.”

Braband (Pittsburgh, Pa.) will be followed over a three-week period, going about his daily routine at work where he serves as a program coordinator, and at home in Southington, Conn. When it’s time for a promo, he will cease activity to do a live read.

He said, “When I found out that I was selected for the campaign, at first, I was shocked and scared…but that feeling has turned to excitement. I’m not sure what to expect.”

Tags: espn

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