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ESPN Introduces LiveConnect – A Service to Create Better Advertising Outcomes for Clients

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Combining Emotion of Sports Fans with Data to Deliver the Right Message to the Right Fans at the Right Time

During its Upfront presentation on Tuesday in New York, N.Y., ESPN introduced LiveConnect – a new product offering for advertisers that considers the emotional state of fans to determine which advertising will resonate best in the moment. By utilizing data and marrying it with the live sports environment, ESPN will work with clients to create a variety of messages and then deliver a different execution, based upon the outcomes in live games and highlights and a fan’s anticipated emotional state.

“At its core, this is about building on our live content advantage and the emotion of sports fans to create better advertising and better results for our clients,” said Ed Erhardt, president, Global Sales and Marketing. “Targeting is one piece of the puzzle – but targeting alone does not result in effective advertising. We’re building out a key pillar that utilizes data to help us get to a place where fans see the right message at the right time, in our live environment.”

LiveConnect enables ESPN to take advantage of the preferences entered or selected by millions of registered users of ESPN.com to deliver better advertising.  For example, if a user has identified as a Warriors fan, the message delivered after a Warriors win will be different than one delivered after a loss. Early tests of the product have shown increased engagement when the message is tailored appropriately.

Additionally, a fan’s reaction to a dunk, touchdown or strike out provides an opportunity for advertisers to customize messages to drive sales.

Added Vikram Somaya, senior vice president, global data officer, “The Liveconnect service allows ESPN to create an optimal experience for both our fans and our marketers. The data-infused family of products provides a seamless melding of creative, technology and media to maximize the unique value of the most compelling live sports platform on the planet.”

LiveConnect is in Beta testing with several advertisers. While currently limited to digital display inventory, the product will expand to video inventory within the year.

Eric Johnson, executive vice president, Multimedia Sales, said, “Indications from our early testing support that we are improving client performance through these investments. All of our beta advertisers have seen upticks in their outcomes. We are ready to enter this Upfront with a focus to expand and scale these opportunities.”
ESPN’s annual Upfront presentation took place today at the Minskoff Theatre in New York, N.Y., and featured a lineup of ESPN executives, talent and athletes to showcase the network’s marquee programming.

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