As seen in the video above, one lucky fan in yesterday’s SportsNation audience took home a customized Seattle Seahawks Edition Xbox One. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson joined co-hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley in ESPN’s Los Angeles Production Center to promote the highly anticipated new Xbox One.
If you’re a fan of SportsNation, you probably have noticed the frequent incorporation of video games, consoles and culture into the show. There’s the giveaways, as when each member of the studio audience received a copy of “Call of Duty: Ghosts”; there’s the annual SportsNation/Madden Cover Vote campaign; and once, Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley went to E3 2013 to report on the expo’s happenings.
Front Row sat down with Coordinating Producer Whit Albohm to talk about the connection:
SportsNation frequently incorporates the video game industry on the show. Why does it work?
It’s a natural fit for collaboration with SportsNation because the past couple of years SportsNation has had the youngest viewers of all ESPN2 studio shows. Video games are immensely popular with our audience, so when we can mix them into the show with a sports tie it’s a great way to serve our fans.
What was your favorite moment of these two worlds combining?
We always get excited for our Madden Cover Vote. We started this partnership in 2011 and have since crowned [NFL stars] Peyton Hillis, Calvin Johnson and Barry Sanders as the “Madden” cover athletes on our show. The highlight was this past year when Barry edged out Adrian Peterson in a live show from Manhattan’s Times Square.
Is there a certain game or gaming console you’d like to integrate on the show in the future?
We are friends of all games and consoles. The most exciting partnerships for us are when we tie in campaigns with big name athletes. Some of the most memorable ones have been with [NFL stars] Rob Gronkowski and Victor Cruz for “Halo,” Patrick Willis for “Call of Duty” and Colin Kaepernick for “Madden.” So we definitely hope to work with some more of those well-known athletes in the future.