Mobile ESPN Gets Whistle
The early ads (which debuted during the last Super Bowl) tried to sell the service by presenting its potential customers as, basically, demented schmucks. One presented a Mobile ESPN user accosting sports anchors outside the network's Connecticut headquarters. Others had users eschewing female, ahh, companionship to check the latest sports scores and alerts. What a great ad concept: Hey, you dumbass sports nut with no life -- buy this phone!
Last month ESPN dropped its initial ad agency -- always a sign of desperation -- but the ads didn't get any better. One showed Seattle Seahawks running back and 2005 NFL MVP Shaun Alexander mixing a smoothie (not a margarita) in his kitchen, tripping over his poodle and then immediately getting an update over his mobile phone -- he's sidelined for Sunday's game.
This is a powerful sales pitch, I suppose, if you're a fantasy football freak (or a highly leveraged sports bettor) trying to get an informational leg up on Sunday's games. But it wasn't a big enough market to support the splashy service.
Next up: mobile phone service for desperate housewives!
— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung