With the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship playoffs starting on May 11 (NCAA Selection Show tommorow, 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU), ESPN created a new fan engagement initiative that has both grassroots and social components as part of the ongoing “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” brand campaign.
The initiative shines a light on something known widely in lacrosse culture as “flow.” For the uninitiated, “flow” refers to the cascade of hair which falls outside the back of a player’s helmet. The Flow Chart allows lacrosse fans and players a fun way to show off their flow by uploading images on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #ESPNFLOWCHART.
There, they can see how their mane compares to those of other players. The Flow Chart is also taking to the road, setting up in the fan activation areas of premier lacrosse events this spring where ESPN ambassadors help fans measure, photograph and instantly upload their flow. The activation was front and center at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. last month.
Fans met former UNC lacrosse standout Billy Bitter as well as ESPN lacrosse commentator Paul Carcaterra and analyst Quint Kessenich.
“This is a great event and we couldn’t have picked a better match to do this,” said Bitter, as he autographed posters to a line of fans. “Kids love the Flow Chart and I love the growth of the sport, it’s fantastic.”
Launched in collaboration with Inside Lacrosse, the Flow Chart reinforces the message behind the “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign, which celebrates fandom and the outsized role that sports plays in fans’ lives.
“This overall campaign is a reminder that ESPN is the biggest sports fan, and that we get every aspect of the fandom,” said Anna Rogers, Associate Manager, Marketing who spearheaded the project alongside Brian Harmer, Associate Director, Marketing. “The Flow Chart is our way to connect with lacrosse fans and players and celebrate the culture of the sport.”
The Flow Chart’s next event will be the NCAA Championship Quarterfinals in College Park, Md., on Saturday, May 18. To view the chart, visit: www.espnflowchart.com.
ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row
• Mike & Mike co-host Mike Golic had some exciting news last weekend. His son Mike, Jr., a former Notre Dame offensive lineman signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent following the NFL Draft. Golic and co-host Mike Greenberg discussed the news on Monday’s show.
• Front Row’s “THE LINEUP” breaks down the top 10 places Bristol ESPNers pass the time on campus. Favorites include the ESPN Cafe, the gazebo by the pond and more.
• “ESPN The Nurse” Nancy Mello was on-site at Disney World for Mike & Mike The Mess on Friday. This is just one of the many unique responsibilities Mello’s undertaken since joining ESPN as its Occupational Nurse in 2006.
• Mike & Mike’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg had a rare victory in the show’s “Jayson Stark Trivia” segment on Wednesday. The two hosts had not answered a question successfully in 2013, and Golic celebrated with some dazzling dance moves after the win.
Row of Four
Our favorites from across ESPN over the past week
• Mike & Mike: The Mess: Greeny pays for losing the show’s bracket wager by navigating an obstacle course.
• From espnW: Rosie Napravnik will try to become the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, but she stands out more for skill than gender.
• Google Hangout: SportsCenter anchors Sage Steele and Mike Hill, ESPN Executive Vice President John Walsh and ESPN HR Directors of Military Initiatives Kevin Preston and Rod Wingfield discuss ESPN and its veterans hiring policies.
• Enjoy an array of photos in this gallery from ESPN Images.
Ana Livia Coelho contributed to this post