Sports fans are all too familiar with clutch moments or plays. Season in and season out, their collective joy or despair hangs in the balance as each potentially clutch catch, shot, kick or drive comes and goes.
“Being clutch in sports is very important and we thought that would be relevant with our fans,” says Adriana Rizzo, senior director of consumer marketing at ESPN. The broadcast sports giant is leveraging that theme in a new, ongoing series of animated spots to promote WatchESPN, a mobile app originally launched in April 2011.
“The Clutch Way to Watch” campaign features two animated super fans, Vic and Steve, talking about how they watch the biggest moments in sports at home, away or in the office. “Most fans will relate to them either because they are them or they know someone like them,” adds Rizzo. “They are true sports fans and you will seem them throughout the year talking about different sports.”
When ESPN approached 72andSunny to develop a new campaign ready to launch before the college basketball season approaches its defining moments of the year, it wanted something different, informative and relatable. “We were looking for a fresh and own-able approach to the product and service. It is a market that can be a bit confusing to fans and viewers, particularly because there are a lot of versions of TV Everywhere,” Rizzo says.
The teams began collaborating in November on a tight deadline, which called for the first two spots of the campaign to debut on ESPN networks last Monday, running through March 17.
ESPN wanted a flexible concept that allows it to introduce new story lines in short- and long-form content based on strategic needs in the marketplace, adds Rizzo. “We always go out in market and time it to specific moments in sports.”
ESPN plans to feature more clutch moments for fans of football, motor sports, tennis, X Games and more throughout the year. The campaign will also carry into ESPN’s digital platforms, social media outlets and mobile, but plans for the latter channels haven’t solidified yet.
“We’re still in the early stages of that. Personally I think it has a tremendous amount of power in the social space,” Rizzo says, adding that ESPN is also designing a feature that will allow sports fans the opportunity to contribute and share their favorite clutch moments in sports via Facebook and Twitter.