ESPN and Ad Council Team Up with Fatherhood.gov to Encourage Fathers to ‘Take Time to be a Dad’ (Video)

The Advertising Council and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse join ESPN today to launch a new series of national public service advertisements designed to show dads the critical role they play in their children’s lives. The ads will debut this week on ESPN media in advance of Father’s Day.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an estimated 25 million children live without their biological fathers and are on average at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health and emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior and avoid high-risk behaviors.

“Given the importance of sports in the lives of so many dads and children, we are excited that ESPN is taking part in our campaign to inspire men to be the best dads they can be,” said Roland C. Warren, Media Campaign Director for the NRFC. “ESPN is a credible messenger to dads and will help us encourage a new commitment to involved fatherhood this Father’s Day.”

The new television, radio, and Web public service advertisements, available in English and Spanish, emphasize to fathers that “the best highlights happen at home.” The TV and radio ads begin airing and running this week through June 28 in donated media on ESPN properties including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Radio and ESPN.com. The online executions will be live on ESPN.com from June 1 to July 11, 2009.

“We are delighted to join ESPN and the NRFC for this new series of public service ads to encourage men to take an active role in their children’s lives,” said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council. “The sports talent featured in the ads are well-known and appealing to our target audience, and I believe they will help strike a chord with fathers to become more involved with their children.”

Created pro bono for the Ad Council by ESPN and Wieden & Kennedy, the TV and radio ads feature ESPN anchors Trey Wingo (NFL Live) and Robert Flores (SportsCenter) as well as David Faitelson and Fernando Palomo of ESPN Deportes for the Spanish spots. The PSAs encourage fathers to visit www.fatherhood.gov for parenting tips and additional resources for fathers. To view the ads, visit www.adcouncil.org.

“ESPN’s ability to reach millions of fathers allows for swift and high-impact advertising communications for this important cause,” said Seth Ader, ESPN senior director sports marketing. “Our collaboration with the Ad Council has yielded a uniquely ESPN-branded PSA that we hope inspires dads to engage with their children in creating every day highlights.”

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