College Sports Cable Net Issues No Diplomas

NEW YORK ESPN this week breaks three 30-second commercials for ESPNU, the network
covering college sports set to launch on March 4.

The spots, via agency Wieden + Kennedy in New York, follow teaser ads that have been airing through February. Spots will run across the ESPN network, with support on ESPN radio and in ESPN the Magazine.

The humorous effort, “Never Graduate,” takes fans into the “special place that is ESPNU, where there is an emotional and passionate connection to college and college sports that does not end with graduation,” said Lee Ann Daly, evp of marketing at ESPN in Bristol, Conn.

“Wedding” shows a couple doing their ceremonial first dance as husband and wife to the Notre Dame fight song. In “Nursing Home” an elderly man wearing an Auburn sweatshirt falls, but another wearing an Alabama hat leaves him on the floor and smiles as he walks away. And in “Halloween,” a boy goes trick-or-treating dressed as the USC Trojan mascot. A guy wearing a UCLA sweatshirt answers the door, and the kid is turned away empty-handed.

“We want to reflect the lifestyle, pageantry, camaraderie, tradition and rivalry that a community of like-minded fans get from college and college sports,” said Daly.