ESPNNewYork.com Sets Launch Date for April 2

Preview of ESPNNewYork.com courtesy of ESPNESPN is in a New York state of mind with ESPNNewYork.com, the latest edition of ESPN’s network of local sites and newest destination for New York sports news and information.  The site features exclusive, original content from local contributors, locally relevant content created from ESPN’s multiple platforms and branded programming.

“We are committed to offering a truly local experience with these sites, and thus with the launch of ESPNNewYork.com, we are dedicated to finding contributors and authentic voices that have a passion for all things New York, an expertise on the hometown teams and a real, meaningful connection with fans in the NY area,” said Jim Pastor, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Local.  “Our mission is to serve sports fans, and in just one year, we’ve managed to establish a deeper relationship on a local level with fans in Chicago, Boston, Dallas and Los Angeles.  They are each among the top local sports destinations for fans in their respective markets, and we have high hopes for New York as we build our presence from the solid foundation we’ve established through the success and reach of our owned and operated station, ESPN Radio 1050 AM.”

The site launches under the day-to-day editorial leadership of new executive editor Leon Carter, a news veteran with over 24 years of experience with the NY sports media world, most recently as sports editor for the New York Daily News and previously with Newsday.  He is an award-winning editor who has covered the NY area sports scene since 1984.

In 2009, Carter was honored with the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his efforts promoting diversity in the newsroom and guiding the careers of more than 250 minority journalists over the past 16 years.  He co-founded and continues to instruct at the Sports Journalism Institute, an intensive nine-week training and internship program for aspiring minority journalists held every summer since 1993.

“New York is one of the world’s greatest sports cities, home to one of most passionate fan bases and some of the most storied franchises in sports,” said Rob King, vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN.com.  “Leon is a veteran of the NY media world who truly understands the NY area sports landscape.  His leadership will drive the editorial direction of ESPNNewYork.com and build a sports site for true NY sports fans.”

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Photo: Pittsburgh’s Taylor and Holmes ‘Steel’ Some PS3 Time at ESPN Wide World of Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers stars Ike Taylor (left) and Santonio Holmes (right) play a game of “Madden NFL ’10” March 23, 2010 at the PlayStation Pavilion at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The new PlayStation Pavilion features PlayStation 3 systems, including a SingStar stage and a collection of the latest video game releases. (Photo by Todd Anderson/Disney)

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ESPN Launches Unprecedented Cross-Media Research Initiative: ESPN XP

ESPN XP

Today at the ARF’s Re:think 2010 conference, ESPN Research+Analytics revealed plans for ESPN XP, a research initiative unprecedented in its scope, to study consumer behavior around major sporting events beginning with the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.  Using one of the largest collections of research companies ever assembled plus a top-tier business school, ESPN XP will attempt to measure media usage and advertiser effects for the World Cup across all media platforms – TV, radio, Internet, mobile and print.

“We have learned a lot about cross-media behavior since we began work in this field in 2002,” said Artie Bulgrin, Senior Vice President, Research and Analytics.  “ESPN XP represents a major step forward in our commitment to further advance our knowledge about multi-media use, and the total and incremental impact it has on our clients’ media campaigns.”

Companies joining ESPN in this initiative include The Keller Fay Group, Knowledge Networks, The Media Behavior Institute, The Nielsen Company and The Wharton Interactive Media Initiative (WIMI).  Additional members of the collective will be announced at a later date.

ESPN XP is unique because it represents the first time a media company has attempted to measure all media platforms around a single event, including both media usage and advertiser effects.  It is different from previous work on cross-media audiences because it is an ongoing initiative — measuring the World Cup is only the first project in a series of quarterly projects to fall under the ESPN XP umbrella.  ESPN will take the best of what is learned from the World Cup and apply it to football in the fall and other sports during 2011.   The goal is to create a scalable research plan to measure cross-media audiences 12 months out of the year by 2012.

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Details for 2010 Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon Announced

The Walt Disney World resort has announced the details for the upcoming Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon events taking place October 1 – 3, 2010.

On Friday, October 1, 2010, the Disney’s Kids’ Races will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Track & Field Complex beginning at 4 pm for children ages 8 and under. Registration includes: Commemorative T-shirt; Personalized Bib (Must register by September 3, 2010 for name to appear on bib); Trick-or-Treat bag of refreshments; Commemorative finisher medallion.

Race details and age groups are as follows:

  • 12 months and under – Diaper Dash for crawlers
  • 1 – 3 years old – 100m dash
  • 4 – 6 years old – 200m dash
  • 7 – 8 years old – 400m dash

On Saturday, October 2, at 7:00 am will be the Mickey’s Halloween Family Fun Run 5K. The only 5K run to take place inside the Magic Kingdom, runners are encouraged to dress in costume (with safety in mind) as they travel along the course filled with Halloween-themed entertainment. Registration includes: Admission to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the night of Sunday, October 3, 2010; Commemorative Champion® T-shirt; * Goody Bag; Personalized Bib (must register by August 2, 2010 for name to appear on bib); Trick-or-Treat bag of race refreshments; Commemorative 5K finisher medallion.

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‘Alice in Wonderland’ Tech, ESPN 3D to Headline 2010 National Association of Broadcasters Show

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has announced a couple of Content Theater Sessions for the 2010 NAB Show which bring Disney technology to the forefront. The show takes place in Las Vegas from April 10-15.

In ‘Alice in Wonderland': Turning Fantasy into Motion Picture Reality,the session will will explore both the production and post production processes, and will describe the challenges of creating characters of unique heights and proportions with special attention to the hybrid of live action and visual effects and the conversion of 2D to stereoscopic 3D. Expected to appear on the panel are: Art Repola, executive vice president of visual effects and production, The Walt Disney Studios; Ken Ralston, multi Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor for the film; Corey Turner, stereographer for the film; and Tom Peitzman, co-producer/visual effects producer for the film. The session is scheduled to place Monday, April 12.

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ABC to Debut ‘ESPN Sports Saturday’ Programming Block Beginning April 3

ESPN Sports Saturday on ABCESPN Sports Saturday, a new block of sports programming on ABC, will launch Saturday, April 3, from 4-6 p.m. ET, it was announced by John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. The two-hour window will consist of a new 60-minute, highlight-driven series titled Winners Bracket and a mix of some of ESPN’s most distinctive offerings, including films from the acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series, episodes of ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine E:60 and installments of the interview-focused Homecoming with Rick Reilly.

ESPN Sports Saturday will generally be featured Saturdays from 4-6 p.m., from April through mid-August, and will return for another round of shows December through August 2011. For certain weeks, as the schedule dictates, ESPN Sports Saturday may be less than two hours.

ESPN Sports Saturday is a creative way to mix more high quality sports product with ABC’s strong live event lineup,” Skipper said. “Winners Bracket will review the sports week using a fresh and fun approach, while some of the very best ESPN series will provide an extremely compelling companion.”

Bill Hoffman, vice president, general manager, WSB-TV in Atlanta and the chair of the sports committee for the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors commented, “We are excited about this brand new sports offering from such a trusted brand. This program comes as a result of great creative thinking and collaboration between the ABC Board and ESPN.”

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ESPN Films to Produce Vince Lombardi Biopic Starring Robert De Niro

Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro is attached to play legendary coach Vince Lombardi in the theatrical motion picture LOMBARDI being developed by ESPN Films, Andell Entertainment and the NFL. Additionally, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Good Shepherd) has come on board the project which will chronicle Lombardi during the years he transformed the Green Bay Packers from the worst team in the National Football League into five-time NFL champions.

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Disney Granted US Patent to Help ESPN Keep a Few Electronic Eyes on Athletes

Using a potential combination of RFID and/or ultra-wide band (UWB) technologies, US Patent #,7671,802 provides a method for tracking the on-field locations of athletes and sports equipment (including fast-moving and rapid direction-changing items such as hockey pucks) in real-time.

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Photos: Mickey, Minnie and Special Guests Help Re-launch ESPN Wide World of Sports

(L-R) Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises; George Bodenheimer, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports; Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Disney Parks and Resorts; and Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort(L-R) Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises; George Bodenheimer, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports; Al Weiss, president of worldwide operations for Disney Parks and Resorts; and Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort, pose Feb. 25, 2010 with a football-clad Mickey Mouse during the official re-launch ceremony for the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. ESPN Wide World of Sports is a 220-acre international sports complex located at Walt Disney World Resort. (David Roark, photographer)

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Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall to Greet Fans at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Feb 26

To commemorate the opening of the Champion Custom Tee Center at the ESPN Wide World of Sports located at the Walt Disney World resort, Steelers’ running back and Champion brand ambassador Rashard Mendenhall will greet guests on Friday, February 26 at the Champion Sports Zone at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Mendenhall will be greeting his fans from 12 – 2 pm. No purchase is required to meet with Mendenhall, however admission to the park is required.

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