Last night during the ESPYS in Los Angeles, ESPN and StubHub officially launched a new institution to honor and celebrate the nation’s best fans.
The Hall of Fans will be a permanent institution and exhibit, annually recognizing the most extraordinary fans across all sports and leagues. The inaugural induction will be this September on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus.
“In different ways, ESPN and StubHub serve fans every day. Now it’s time to celebrate their fandom,” said Sean Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing Solutions, ESPN.
“It is our hope and expectation that the Hall of Fans will thrive as a celebrated institution for many years to come.”
To participate, fans must submit an essay along with photos or videos on TheHallofFans.com between now and Wednesday, Aug. 1. Shortly thereafter, the top 10 finalists will be notified and encouraged to campaign for one of the final three spots using their own social networks.
Come September, the top three fans will be honored in a special ceremony on ESPN’s campus.
Front Row spoke with Carrie Brzezinski, senior director, co-marketing, to find out more about how The Hall of Fans came to be.
What is The Hall of Fans and how did it come about?
The idea of creating a Hall of Fame to honor fans had been discussed for several years in Marketing Solutions and Consumer Marketing. With the rise of social media as a key way we communicate with our fans, the idea started to come to life. We knew that rooting the program in social and digital would give it the exposure we needed to get the word out and develop a successful institution.
What do you hope to see in this first year?
We’re hoping to raise awareness and drive participation. We would like to see the conversation bubble up on many levels — from super fans of major sports leagues to local fans of hometown teams. We are thrilled to give fans the forum to share their stories with their favorite teams and athletes, as well as fellow fans. The ESPN digital content team will also be traveling to each of the top ten contestants’ hometowns to interview them ESPN-style with those interviews posted on TheHallofFans.com.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you have in store for the induction ceremony?
We want to make this a special day for the honorees with a formal ceremony on the Bristol green. We will give them a special tour and opportunity to walk the halls populated each day by the sports personalities they admire.
Where on the ESPN campus will the exhibit be displayed?
The inductees’ names will be added to a permanent place of honor: three stadium chairs on the Bristol lawn.
Will you be among the three inaugural inductees to The Hall of Fans? Visit TheHallofFans.com to learn more.