SoMoConf: “ESPN is Social Fuel”

When ESPN’s JonPaul Rexing, senior director of sales, asked the audience if they like sports, pretty much everyone raised their hand.  No surprise there, but what JonPaul said people like even more is “their” team, which is the idea behind ESPN’s local strategy.

“We do it [advertising] very aggressively, every new technology possible and marry them together,” JonPaul said.

When it comes to social media, the company offers advertisers a plethora of executions at the local level.  The range of social solutions was encapsulated in a video highlighting the social experience, which can found at

The company has just recently introduced this diverse range of social offerings and JonPaul wasn’t at liberty to share exact revenue figures.  However, because ESPN is “social fuel,” he expects social revenues to be seven figures next year.

When it comes to mobile, ESPN tried around 40 apps and was able to achieve some scale, but found they were too much to manage.  The company eliminated many of these apps and focused on just a few pillars of the sports world, all housed within the SportsCenter app.

By investing in just one app, ESPN bet on users personalizing their experience within the app by selecting their teams and location.  Now, the company is selling local mobile ads within the SportsCenter app, which has been a much easier sell than selling within the New York ESPN app, for example.

Overall, ESPN is extremely engaged in social and mobile advertising and continues to innovate by offering new advertising solutions without sacrificing cohesion throughout digital properties.

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