ABC “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts is returning to the ESPN family to host a new eight-part interview series, the sports channel announced at its upfront presentation this morning. Roberts will host “In the Game with Robin Roberts Presented by Lexus,” which will feature the anchor interviewing prominent female athletes. The first guest will be pro softball player Jennie Finch.
The interviews will air on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Thursdays between 9 AM and 12 PM, as well as on espnW.com and ABCNews.com. Furthermore, excerpts from the interviews will be featured in ESPN The Magazine, and there will be “a robust digital and social media execution” to drive viewership. ESPN says this is the first cross-platform project between ABC News and espnW.
Roberts first gained national attention at ESPN as an anchor on “SportsCenter.” In 1995, she began to split her time between ABC News and ESPN, joining ABC full-time as “Good Morning America” co-anchor in 2005.
ESPN, espnW and ABC News Launch In the Game with Robin Roberts Presented by Lexus
Television, Digital and Print Execution Shines Spotlight on Top Female Athletes
On Thursday, May 17, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts will debut In the Game with Robin Roberts Presented by Lexus – a new series debuting across ESPN’s SportsCenter, espnW.com and ABCNews.com featuring exclusive interviews with accomplished female athletes. Jennie Finch will kick off the eight-episode program which is sponsored by Lexus. The series will air every Thursday between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. ET during ESPN’s flagship program, SportsCenter. The series will launch with a robust digital and social media execution across espnW.com and ABCNews.com to drive tune in and viewer interaction. This marks the first dual network, cross platform project between ABC News and espnW.
“This series showcases incredible female athletes who continually challenge the status quo and never stop improving their game, a philosophy Lexus lives by,” said Brian Smith, Lexus vice president of marketing. “As we continue to roll out the new face of Lexus with vehicles like the all-new RX, we are committed to bringing this highly integrated program to life.”
Added Laura Gentile, vice president, espnW, “This collaboration speaks to our unique ability across The Walt Disney Company to share resources and ideas while creating powerful programs for advertisers like Lexus. This series shares our talent, our digital, print and television assets and our social media presence – all in an effort to showcase exceptional female athletes while reaching the coveted female consumer.”
Aligned with the launch of the new Lexus RX F SPORT, a boldly designed luxury crossover vehicle with a full-fledged performance upgrade, Lexus brand messaging “What’s Next” will serve as a recurring theme throughout each of the episodes, which feature Robin Roberts hosting intimate interviews with world-renowned female athletes. The discussion will focus on “what’s next” for each athlete’s career, sport, and life. Additional “What’s Next” clips will be shared across espnW/ESPN and ABCNews digital assets to promote the series and drive tune in.
Full length interviews and complementary content including additional clips, a video archive and social integration will be hosted on two custom-built Lexus branded splash pages accessible at espnW.com/inthegame and abcnews.com/inthegame. ESPN The Magazine will also feature content from the series in “Mag Minute” interviews in upcoming editions.
Additionally, an “In the Game Live” social platform will highlight the series through co-branded Facebook ads, a custom Twitter hashtag and opportunities for users to submit questions to Robin to be asked within the interview. All social extensions will be integrated across ABC News and espnW social platforms.
Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service from its 231 dealers. Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader, offering five hybrids that provide the best in innovative technology and first-class luxury. When it began, Lexus offered two models of vehicles. Now, more than 20 years later, Lexus offers variations of 10 vehicles, from the sporty CT 200h hybrid to the V10 supercar, the LFA.
espnW’s mission is to connect female fans with the sports they love and follow. espnW.com provides an engaging environment where women are an integral part of the sports conversation, share their perspective on men’s and women’s sports and find the motivation and support for their athletic goals and interests. Launched in October 2011, espnW, [espnw.com], is an emerging business that consists primarily of a digital product suite including pc web, mobile web and social media. espnW is also supported by a strong social media presence on Twitter (@espnW) and Facebook. The Women’s Sports Foundation is a charity of choice of espnW.