As data continues creeping into the sports world—more general managers these days have Harvard MBAs instead of experience on the playing field—making decisions based on stats is becoming commonplace.
So when ESPN told E*Trade that it was bringing back its "Did You Know?" franchise, which showcases little-known facts tied to major sports stories, the financial services company saw an easy crossover with their goal of educating consumers on their investments.
"Customers come to us looking for ways to pull all of the different things happening in the market," said Rich Muhlstock, svp, branding and acquisition at E*Trade. "['Did You Know?'] fit really well and became a good connection for us."
The segment, which returned Sunday night at the end of the 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter and will continue to air there, has E*Trade on board as the exclusive sponsor. The on-air segment will have E*Trade integrated into a virtual set, which will be also be streamed live on the ESPN app. The "Did You Know?" fact will be distributed on the ESPN.com homepage, through ESPN's mobile alerts and across both ESPN and E*Trade's social channels. E*Trade will have no editoral control over the content of the "Did You Know?" segment, which will come from ESPN's Stats & Information Group.
However, ESPN and E*Trade will work together on additional digital content that will roll out each Wednesday. "It positions ourselves as a unique and valuable creative partner, in helping communicate, not reach, communicate to their target audiences," said Wendell Scott, svp of multimedia sales at ESPN.
Muhlstock said the idea for this partnership came about during a conversation they had with ESPN, whom they've had a long relationship with. "I actually didn't even realize that they had stopped running it," admits Muhlstock. Since E*Trade was looking for new ways to get their message in front of potential customers that went beyond the traditional ad buy, "Did You Know?" seemed like the perfect fit.
"It made sense for us, as far as fitting in with our strategy... we could get a lot more value out of all the advertising we were doing with [ESPN]," said Muhlstock.