April 10th, 2014
Mass Communication Process
Thursday 10 am recitation with Johnson
The World Wide Leader in Sports
In the years prior to 1979, the way people in the United States obtained information about sports was through either the daily newspaper, segments on the news, or just being at the game. However though on September 7th, 1979 all of that would forever change as a new TV channel would debut. Entertainment and Sports Programing Network, ESPN, would become the first TV channel dedicated as an all sports channel. They dubbed it as “If you love sports…if you really love sports, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to sports heaven.”
Since its initial launch ESPN has grown to become one of the most successful TV channels/companies out there. Over that time ESPN has been able to become the face of North American sports and all around the world. While they have enjoyed the highest of highs over the past ten plus years and counting they haven’t been able to avoid controversy and competition from other competitors.
Over the course of the years, ESPN has been very successful in creating a strong brand identity. ESPN has been able to create an identity of that if you want sports coverage, 24/7 365, then we are your one stop shop for it. However in order for ESPN to have this identity they have to have coverage of specific sports that make people want to tune in on a consistent basis. Two sports that have helped in achieving it are the NFL and NBA. ESPN has TV contractual rights that allow them to broadcast games for each sport live or be allowed to showcase footage of all that nights’ action on their weekly shows. Let’s look back to summer of 2010 when LeBron James made the infamous decision of leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and deciding to join the Miami Heat.
While much speculation had gone on in the weeks prior to the event, no one really knew for sure where LeBron James would play ball for the 2010-11 NBA season. ESPN had allowed people from Team LeBron to conduct a live TV event known as “The Decision” which was when LeBron would make his announcement (Olhmeyer, “The ‘Decision’ Dilemma”). The event took place on July 8th, 2010 (Gregory, “The Lebron James Hour”). In the days after the event ESPN had gotten a lot of flak because of how they went about it (Olhmeyer, “The ‘Decision’ Dilemma”). Many people amongst the journalism and sports industry had said that they tarnished their credibility (Olhmeyer, “The ‘Decision’ Dilemma”). Despite all of the negative feedback ESPN was smart in broadcasting it. The Decision helped to assist in ESPNs brand identity being that aside from live NBA games, you will be able to get breaking news around the league or any major announcement hence the Decision. Reasons like that are why the NBA has been very successful for ESPN in achieving brand identity. It’s like if you want to watch a marquee basketball game then you will tune into ESPN because you know you are getting a strong product with...