ESPN, Contagious Revive Parkour for SportsCenter Promo

By Patrick Coffee 

More on the agency/production company tip today: in order to “relaunch” its always-popular SportsCenter, ESPN teamed with Contagious, the viral video shop known for a slew of recent campaigns.

This spot features NBA star Rip Hamilton, University of Connecticut’s mascot Jonathan the Husky and SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy with a big supporting role for parkour, the “how do they do that” French acrobatics movement that reached its pop culture peak around 2004.

For context: while W+K NY handles most of the creative for SportsCenter, Contagious has been described as “the first full-service brand agency to focus exclusively on YouTube in a time when most agencies are diversifying their creative offering.”


Founded by former Omnicom exec Tim Staples, the shop “eschews the traditional AD/copywriter relationship, instead dividing into three groups: strategy and creation; seeding and organic marketing; and production.”

Staples almost certainly agrees with Todd Wiseman Jr. of viral videomaker Hayden 5, who told us last week:

“The agency model is never going away, and for good reason, but the landscape is changing quickly.  I think we’ll see many more successes from brands, new and old, who work directly with small creative shops for their à la carte needs, namely web content.”