If you’re a sports fan you’ll get a kick out of reading Jon Friedman’s article about SI/ESPN on MarketWatch. My favorite quote comes from Terry McDonnell, editor of the Sports Illustrated Group, who says this about ESPN:
They’re a TV network. We’re playing in a completely different league.
Huh? If ever there was a case of someone with their head in the sand, this is it!
Let’s compare the scores on this, OK?:
TV presence: ESPN wins, hands down.
More recognizable personalities: Again, ESPN with the advantage (Reilly and Rushin are great, but how can any team hold a candle to Bill Simmons, Stuart Scott, Chris Berman, etc.?)
Website traffic: According to the article, ESPN holds an almost three to one advantage; makes you wonder what stats McDonnell is looking at, doesn’t it?
Risk-taker mentality: ESPN, again in a landslide. Sure, it leads to mistakes. (Remember the ESPN cell phone?) But it once again shows ESPN is always looking for new and innovative ways to extend their brand.
If you don’t buy into any of those points, how about this one: How many times have you asked one of your friends if they’ve seen the new, hilarious ESPN ad? (My favorite is the latest one with Dale Earnhardt trying to install a screen saver. Btw, why doesn’t ESPN put all these on their website so you can always catch the latest one?!) I’ll bet you’ve never had the same reaction to a Sports Illustrated advertisement…