ESPN2 and ABC to Broadcast Star-Studded FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert, June 10

ESPN Inc.’s unprecedented coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ from South Africa will kick off before the games even begin when ESPN2 broadcasts complete live coverage of the FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert from Soweto/Johannesburg on Thursday, June 10 beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

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Disneyland to Play Host to MLB’s All-Star Red Carpet Parade on July 13

Major League Baseball announced today that on July 13, the Disneyland Resort will welcome the MLB All-Star Red Carpet procession into the Disneyland Park.

An approximately 6,000-square-yard red carpet stretching three-quarters of a mile from the corner of South Harbor Boulevard at Convention Way to Disney Way, where the public portion concludes, will feature professional baseball players from the 81st annual MLB All-Star Game, their families and members of the coaching staffs. The parade then will continue through Disneyland to Main Street U.S.A. for guests in the park.

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ESPN Signs on Playdom to Develop ESPN-Branded Sports Games for Social Media Networks

ESPN Interactive today announced that it has reached a two-year agreement with Playdom, one of the leading social gaming companies, to develop ESPN-branded sports genre games for social media platforms.  The first two in development are slated to launch this Fall.

“Our deal with Playdom marks ESPN’s first major presence into the social gaming space,” said Raphael Poplock, vice president, games and revenue strategy and development for ESPN Digital Media.  “The sports genre for this category of games has gone virtually untapped thus far, and through this agreement, we have an opportunity to be in front of a highly engaged audience and at the forefront of what is currently the fastest growing games category out there.”

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Walt Disney World’s 2011 Princess Half Marathon Gets New, Earlier Dates

Disney Parks has announced that the 2011 Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon weekend has been moved a week earlier to February 25 – 27, 2011 from March 4-6.

Registration for the event is scheduled to open on July 6.

For more information on the event, visit the official web site.

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Spectator Tickets for Walt Disney World’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Now Available

Tickets are now available for purchase by spectators (non-participants) for both the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party on October 3, 2010 as well as the Finish Line party taking place inside Epcot’s World Showcase on October 2 from 10:30 pm through 3 am.

To purchase spectator tickets for these events, please call 1-407-WDW-IRUN (407-939-4786).

Admission for these events is already included in the cost of registration for participants. Registration for the both the half-marathon and the relay are at 50%.

For more information on the event, click here.

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Over 13,000 Students Expected to Compete in ESPN RISE Games at Walt Disney World Resort

ESPN RISE and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the nation’s leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports, announced today that they have grown the ESPN RISE Games’ elite and competitive event offering and expect to host more than 13,000 student athletes during its 2010 event at the sports complex in suburban Orlando, Fla. Target has returned as the title sponsor for the second year of the ESPN RISE Games.  The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target will take place over a two week period, July 14-27. Events will air on both ESPNU and ESPN3.com.

The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target, a two-week long elite and competitive level student athlete focused event, will be anchored by four elite high school sports events. New for the 2010 event is the Champion High School Showcase, a US Lacrosse boys and girls event. Returning for the second year are the AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion®, the Under Armour High School Softball All-America game and the elite 7 on 7 high school football event Champion® Gridiron Kings.

The ESPN RISE Games has also increased its competitive channel youth sports; it has added boys and girls lacrosse: US Lacrosse U15 National Championship, softball: USSSA Fast Pitch World Series (U16 and U18) and football: the Florida Premier 7s, an invite only, 7-on-7 event to feature 64 Florida high school teams – the inaugural event will include Dr. Phillips, Miramar, Manatee and DeLand high schools. Returning to the schedule from the 2009 event are baseball: USSSA Global Baseball World Series, basketball: AAU Super Showcases (14U 15U and 16U) and AAU 14U National Championship, field hockey: Disney Summer 7s & 11s National Championships a USA Field Hockey event (U12, U14, U16 and U19) and track & field: AAU National Club Championships (13-18). The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target has grown from hosting 4,000 student athletes to more than 13,000 expected student athletes for the 2010 event.

ESPN RISE GAMES ELITE EVENT DETAILS:

  • Champion® High School Showcase a US Lacrosse Event is the “National All-Star Game” of high school lacrosse featuring the top high school players from across the country. The event is set-up in a final four format, with two semifinal games, a third place game and a championship game. All of the teams are guaranteed practice and scrimmage time. Girls: July 17-19 Boys: July 20-22
  • Under Armour High School Softball All-American game will feature 30 of the top high school players in the nation divided into two squads.  Players are selected by a committee of high school softball experts from ESPN RISE.  July 19-20
  • AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® is part of the AAU National Championships held at the ESPN sports complex and features marquee 17-under club teams from across the country.  The event includes two days of pool play and a single-elimination tournament. The tournament is a breeding ground for future NBA stars including Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, as well as collegiate phenoms such as Tyler Hansbrough and JJ Redick. July 24-27
  • Champion® Gridiron Kings is an elite high school football event that features 64 of the best players in the game’s seven skill positions – quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety.  The event includes performance training, position specific training, skills challenges and a 7-on-7 competition. July 24-25
  • Under Armour High School Softball All-American, Champion Gridiron Kings, AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® and Champion® High School Senior Showcase a US Lacrosse Event (boys event) events will be presented on ESPNU live and as pre-recorded shows; ESPN3.com will air live competitive events.

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ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill to Offer 2010 FIFA World Cup Viewing Parties

Soccer fans in Central Florida can get swept up in the fever of 2010 FIFA World Cup through unique viewing opportunities at Walt Disney World Resort.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill at Disney has been designated as an official viewing location for the month-long global soccer tournament.  Soccer fans can watch live World Cup matches televised on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 from South Africa involving their favorite soccer national teams on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill’s many large high-definition screens.

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ESPN’s X Games Returns to Downtown Los Angeles After Seven Years

ESPN – together with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and the Los Angeles Coliseum – will celebrate its 16th annual action sports event, the X Games, entirely downtown between STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre, the Los Angeles Coliseum and L.A. LIVE. The 2010 event will mark the seventh consecutive year that the X Games will take place in Los Angeles.  Thirty-one hours of live X Games programming on ESPN and ESPN2 – all in high definition – will be aired July 29 through August 1, as well as on ESPN International, ESPN.com\action, ESPN Classic, ESPN3.com, and SportsCenter.

“It has been seven years since we first had X Games events at the Los Angeles Coliseum, and ESPN couldn’t be more thrilled to be returning this year with several of our sports,” said Jack Wienert, ESPN executive director, X Games Event Management. “As the X Games franchise continues to grow, we are proud and excited about our continued great relationship with AEG as we expand our presence this year downtown at STAPLES Center and L.A. LIVE.”

Lee Zeidman, STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre and L.A. LIVE Sr. Vice President & General Manager, said: “STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre, L.A. LIVE and AEG are incredibly excited to expand our partnership with ESPN and the X Games in downtown Los Angeles. The ability to activate the entire L.A. LIVE campus for four days with non stop X Games events is something that everyone is really looking forward to this summer, and X Games 16 will undoubtedly be an experience fans will not want to miss.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to have the X Games back at the Coliseum,” said Pat Lynch, general manager for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Sports Arena.  “As the original home to the precursor of the X Games, the original motocross, we truly appreciate and love showcasing this world-class action sports event.”

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Disney and MLB Announce All Star Game Mickey Statues for All Teams; Collectible Statuettes Available

The statuettes, seen here in the stands of Yankee Stadium, are replicas of seven and a half foot tall, life-size statues that will be placed at key Southern California landmarks leading up to the All-Star Game on July 13. Rich Pilling/MLB PhotosMajor League Baseball Properties and Disney Consumer Products today unveiled 36 different designs of MLB-themed Mickey Mouse collectible statuettes and related apparel and merchandise in celebration of the 2010 MLB All-Star Week festivities taking place July 9–13 in Anaheim, Calif. as part of a new collaboration between the organizations. The statuettes are replicas of seven and a half foot tall, life-size statues that will be placed at key Southern California landmarks leading up to the All-Star Game on July 13.

This special line of commemorative collectibles, commissioned in conjunction with MLB and Disney Consumer Products’ licensee Forever Collectibles, will be uniquely decorated with bold graphics featuring logos of each of the 30 MLB Clubs as well as an American League and a National League design. In addition, four statuettes will feature various All-Star Game themes. All are available in a 7.5-inch size through MLB.com beginning today and later this month through DisneyStore.com and additional retailers including MLB stadium shops, Walgreens and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The 36 life-size statues are also decorated using the same logos and designs as the statuettes. With a height of 7.5 feet and weighing 989 pounds, these MLB-themed statues will begin to appear at landmarks throughout Southern California closer to the 2010 All-Star Game. Exact locations will be made public at a later date.

“With the All-Star Game returning to Anaheim, now is the perfect time for these two iconic American brands to team up and celebrate the premiere sporting event of the summer,” said Bob DuPuy, President & Chief Operating Officer, Major League Baseball. “These Mickey Mouse statuettes will allow fans of all 30 Clubs to share in the excitement of All-Star Summer even if they can’t make it to Anaheim for the festivities.”

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Disney XD Teams Up with MLB to Debut ‘Batboy’ Short Form Special April 5

Kids and tweens get a rare look into “the big leagues” through the eyes of a Major League batboy, in “Batboy,” a short-form reality special premiering on baseball’s Opening Day, MONDAY, APRIL 5 (7:00 p.m., ET/PT) on Disney XD, followed by multiple presentations throughout the week. It is produced by Major League Baseball Productions.

Coinciding with the start of baseball season, the special follows Daniel Chelgren, a teenage batboy with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and gives young viewers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be part of an MLB team, including shagging fly balls during batting practice, handling pre-game equipment prep and reviewing game strategy in the dugout with the professionals.

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