Launched in 2008 as ESPN RISE, ESPN’s multiplatform business serving high school student-athletes and high school fans online, in print and through televised events, has been changed to ESPN High School to provide more flexibility to package all of its high school sports content–for both student-athletes and fans–across all platforms.
The ESPN High School brand will debut on television during the Boost Mobile Elite 24 on Aug. 26-27 and the ESPN High School Football Kickoff slated for Aug. 26-28. ESPN will air 13 football games that weekend across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com. The new branding identity will roll-out across ESPN High School platforms throughout August.
ESPN High School provides content for student-athletes and fans in print through ESPNHS magazines (Guy and Girl Editions); annual football and basketball preview issues; digital content on ESPNhighschool.com; television events including ESPN High School Football Kickoff and by hosting more than 160 high school events including Elite 11, Boost Mobile Elite 24, National High School Invitational, Warrior 40, Area Code Baseball and Nike SPARQ Combines and Nike Football Training Camps.
“ESPN is committed to providing the best high school sports content for fans while creating specific high-quality content and tools for the athlete themselves,” said Glenn Rosenbloom, VP/GM, ESPN High School. “By renaming this business, it clearly defines our mission and brings this property into better alignment with the rest of the ESPN networks and content platforms.”
High school sports fans are passionate about their teams with current research provided by Luker on Trends showing that 55% of adults are fans of high school sports and 85% of males (12-17) are fans of high school sports.
RBR-TVBR observation: A great strategy for capturing a largely untapped national audience. By highlighting high school sports, the company is embracing sports fans early. This way, ESPN gets more die-hard and life-long fans down the road.