ICYMI: The Week on Front Row PLUS: Inside the ESPN, ESPN Deportes Upfronts


ESPN Upfronts Recap
On Tuesday, ESPN hosted its annual Upfronts presentation at the Minskoff Theatre, usually home to the Disney play, “The Lion King.”

ESPN anchors Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, Jemele Hill and Michael Smith opened the show, followed by appearances from Michelle Beadle, Scott Van Pelt, Keith Olbermann, John McEnroe, Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, Tim Tebow and others.

The theme of this year’s presentation was “Always On” — a reflection of ESPN’s approach to consumers and to the marketplace.

“You can walk into a health club or be on your mobile or a laptop and ESPN is on it,” said President, ESPN Global Customer Marketing and Sales, Ed Erhardt. “Day by day, minute by minute. And we do it with scale – we’re live across every screen.”

The event celebrated ESPN’s upcoming coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the debut of the highly anticipated new SportsCenter set, as well as the August launch of the new ESPN SEC Network.

The highlight of the presentation was an homage to Brazil and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, featuring a Carnival-style show with a New York-based cast of talented drummers, dancers and capoeira martial arts performers along with soccer freestylers. At one point, SportsCenter’s Kenny Mayne joined the dancers onstage atop Pride Rock for ESPN’s take on “The Lion King’s” theme “Circle of Life” – which was changed to the “Circle of Live,” befitting the theme of the show.
– Ana Livia Coelho

NEW YORK – Close to 200 clients and advertisers attended the ESPN Deportes’ Upfronts on Wednesday.

Hosted by Deportes lead baseball commentator Ernesto Jerez and a lineup of some of the company’s most recognized on-air talent and guest athletes, the presentation touted ESPN Deportes’ ability to offer fans the most comprehensive package of live sports available on all U.S. Spanish-language media, including the 2015 Pan American Games, Euro Qualifiers and American sports.

ESPN Deportes’ VP of Multimedia Ad Sales John Fitzgerald also reinforced ESPN’s total market approach, highlighting the company’s reach and content options available to better serve Hispanic sports fans and advertisers across both languages – all further supported by ESPN Deportes’ unique multimedia positioning in the marketplace.

The presentation featured a number of panel discussions about key live sports events to be presented by the network in 2015 and U.S. sports which continue to emerge among Hispanics.

“We wanted to showcase clients and advertisers our ability to deliver the most relevant sport content for Hispanics through the perspective and experiences of the network’s on-air experts and athletes,” General Manager, ESPN Deportes Lino Garcia said. “Our message was a combination of two fields: valuable anecdotes of the people that live and know the sports, and the reinforcement of the numbers and results that demonstrate the growth of these sports among Hispanics.”

Alvaro Martin, ESPN Deportes lead play-by-play commentator for NBA and NFL, who has participated in a number of ESPN Upfronts through the years, was excited to talk to the audience about the power of “live” and the growth of U.S. sports.

“The NBA, NFL and MLB have an aspirational quality for Spanish-dominant Hispanics in the United States. It allows them to more easily connect to the mainstream of American society, to have a spot at the water-cooler on Mondays at their workplace,” Martin said. “Now, daughters and sons are turning their parents into followers of the classic American leagues.”

Martin and Jerez were joined in the panel discussions by a group of ESPN and ESPN Deportes experts and athletes that included Raul Allegre, Eduardo Perez, Bruce Bowen, Fernando Palomo, JJ Barea, Alfredo Lomeli, Carlos Morales, Max Bretos, Jorge Ramos, Craig Burley and coordinating producer Maria Soares.

For a full list of ESPN Deportes Upfronts announcements, visit ESPN MediaZone.


• NBA MVP Kevin Durant narrates an upcoming #SCFeatured piece on Oklahoma neighbors one year after a devastating tornado.

• ESPN basketball analyst Kara Lawson began her 12th WNBA season this week. She shared how she balances two demanding careers.

• A humorous line in a “This is SportsCenter” commercial has been embraced by Pirates fans.

E:60 reporter Jeremy Schaap and producer Beein Gim discuss their feature probing conditions for workers helping Qatar prepare to host 2022 FIFA World Cup.

-By Hannah Worster

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