ESPN Unveils ‘Sports Heaven’

NEW YORK ESPN Mobile’s Super Bowl spot showcases a fantasy landscape where a panoply of athletes populate a city.

Havas-owned Arnold in Boston created the 60-second commercial, which will air during the second quarter of Super Bowl XL on Feb. 5.

This marks the agency’s first major effort for the client since it added the assignment from Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN following a review last March.

At the time, sources pegged the ad budget at approximately $30 million. (A 30-second spot on ABC’s telecast of the Super Bowl costs about $2.5 million.)

The spot introduces the mobile service, which will offer a variety of sports programming and analysis available on subscribers’ cell phones.

In the ad, a man exits a building and is oblivious to the world around him because he is engrossed in his cell phone. Around him, a cityscape explodes with football players, gymnasts, track stars, motocross cyclists, bowlers, skateboarders and others. As fireworks and jet planes streak across the sky, screen copy reads, “Welcome to sports heaven.”

A voiceover states, “Introducing Mobile ESPN. Sports fans, your phone has arrived.”

Among the athletes who appear in the spot are baseball players Jim Edmonds, Torii Hunter, Juan Pierre, Hudson Street and David Wells; basketball stars Baron Davis and Stephon Marbury; football player Antonio Gates; tennis star Robby Ginepri; boxer Jeff Lacy; bowler Chris Barnes; and gymnast Carly Patterson.

Pete Favat served as executive cd on the spot; Roger Baldacci was creative director. Will Chambliss wrote the copy, teamed with art director Rob Kottkamp.