ESPN has declared today, Oct. 10, as SportsCenter Top 10 Day.
Over the last month, ESPN has been traveling to the hometowns of youth athletes whose plays have been featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.
Today during the noon ET hour of SportsCenter, anchor John Anderson interviewed high school softball player Brooke Bearden in Liberal, Mo. She returned to the field just months after open heart surgery and a stroke; her accomplishment was celebrated on SportsCenter.
Front Row spoke with Peter Mulally, director, ESPN Brand Marketing, to learn more about the campaign.
How did the idea to feature these youth athletes come about?
It’s all part of SportsCenter’s push to prove that greatness can happen anywhere, by anyone. We knew from the get-go that we had the incredible opportunity to inspire the next generation of SportsCenter fans by welcoming real, every day, Gen-Z athletes into the Top 10 club.
With so many to choose from, how did you decide who would be honored in their hometowns?
It was very much an equation of finding the right plays, the right people and the right locations. We were so fortunate to have such a big base to work off with so many incredible moments and stories from the last year, it turned into a labor of love to find the right mix of diversity in sports and region. Once we landed on our ten, the overwhelming support in each respective community reinforced why this initiative is so special to so many people.
Why was it important to create experiences in each of the athletes’ hometowns?
It was imperative for us to authentically show up where the play occurred. Activating locally brought the entire community together to celebrate one of their own, and reinforced how the stature of an iconic brand like SportsCenter can bring it all to life.
What has been the most rewarding part about working on this campaign?
The most rewarding part was absolutely the reactions on site from the kids, the families and the communities. Sometimes we forget how meaningful the brand of ESPN is to people, so to see it first-hand validated that we found something special with this initiative.
ESPN Production produced the video above.