Complete Marketing Strategy of ESPN – A Detailed Analysis

Updated on: Jul 30, 2022
Marketing Strategy Of ESPN - Featured Image

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My name is Aditya Shastri and I have written this case study with the help of my students from IIDE's online digital marketing courses in India.

Practical assignments, case studies & simulations from Business Review helped the students from this course present this analysis.

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Previously, we discussed the SWOT analysis of ESPN. Here, in this blog, we will be giving you information about the Marketing Strategy of ESPN, Which is the largest Sports channel. 

By reading this blog, you will get to know how effective and successful ESPN’s marketing strategy is. ESPN is the most liked sports channel of all time. And it is not only available in America but you can access it anywhere and everywhere you like.

There are a few related channels such as ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN News, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, and many more. ESPN operates regional channels in Brazil, Latin America, and Africa as well. It has minority stakes in J sports in Japan.

ESPN Received National Hispanic Media Coalition’s “Outstanding Commitment and Outreach to the Latino Community”, 2016.

As you know, Marketing is one of the pillars of any successful company. And by growing technology, everything is being digitized. So if you are interested in learning about Digital Marketing then check this Free Masterclass on Digital Marketing 101 by Karan Shah Founder and CEO of The Indian Institute of Digital Education(IIDE).

After reading this blog you will get an idea about the Marketing Strategy of ESPN. But before we begin with its marketing strategy. Let’s have a quick look at ESPN’s story, its goal, and many more of its aspects.

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About the ESPN – Company Overview

Marketing Strategy of ESPN - List of Channels ESPN Telecast and Sales

ESPN is a sports entertainment company that was created with the idea of 3 men named Scott Rasmussen, Bill Rasmussen & Ed Eagan. Currently owned jointly by two companies, 80% by The Walt Disney Company and 20% by Hearst communications. 

The company was founded in 1979 and has operated more than 30+ television networks, 90 broadband networks, and 13 websites. They have its headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Currently, ESPN is available to 80 million people all over the world.

Quick Stats on ESPN
CEO Jimmy Pitaro
CMO Laura Gentile
Area Served United States
Industry Sports Channel
Market Share/ Revenue $994 Billion
Vision To Serve Sports Fans anytime anywhere
Tagline Serving Fans. Anytime. Anywhere.


Marketing Strategy of ESPN

Here is some Marketing Strategy of ESPN and how they promote their Brand.

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

ESPN targets audiences who are loyal to sports, especially the Youth, and male sports fans. The goal is to increase the subscribers and price of ENSP+ by adding more content to it. To promote ESPN+ the company is using its media network which includes TV channels, social media, and many more.

ESPN is one of the best sports channels in the world. It has many channels and broadcast shows which are part of its marketing mix. It was Launched in 1995 as a classical sports network by Brain Bedol after which it was purchased by ESPN in 1997 rebranding it as a Digital satellite TV network. ESPN is using geographic and Demographic strategies to describe various segments of the business it operates.

ESPN has positioned itself in the world as one of the leading sports media entertainment networks and broadcasting. ESPN uses a benefit-based posting strategy that is to create an exclusive image of the company in the eyes of an audience.

Marketing Campaigns 

Marketing Strategy of ESPN - One App, One-time image

ESPN started a marketing campaign with “ONE APP, ONE TAP” as a way for the viewers to enjoy sports on mobile phones. This Disney-owned ESPN is making its way to the digital platform by making the application of ESPN. The company said streaming service ESPN+ has gained 10.3 million subscribers. 

This application was a success because it allows its users to watch from anywhere anytime through its application. In September total devices reached by application and the time spent was up to 15% compared to September 2019.

Link for this ad. ESPN App: One App, One Tap

Marketing Strategy of ESPN - ESPN campaign of return of players image

Another campaign was done by ESPN that salutes resiliency teams and fans. This campaign celebrates the return of the players to the field and the undying love of Fans and cheering their favourite teams and slogan was there’s no place like sports. This campaign was successful. People liked the idea of this advertisement calling players after the pandemic.

Link for the ad.ESPN | There’s No Place Like Sports | Better Every Year

Marketing Strategy of ESPN - This is SportsCenter image

This campaign was done to promote the SportsCenter sports news that debuted in 1995. The New York office was responsible for the writing of the production of commercials till 2017, Now ESPN took the production in 2018. It was done to promote their own centre which is valued at the top and was quite a success.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is really important when it comes to gathering the audience at large and no wonder a brand like Hyundai uses it to its full advantage.

ESPN’s strategy is “more is more” which means gaining more viewers through social media. ESPN is active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. They have more than 269 million followers and over 30+ accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These accounts contain many promotional and informative content for sports fans.

Hey, If you want your business to get success on social media platforms or have a curiosity about how marketing works on these channels, then you must check out the short-term SEM course offered by IIDE in which you will get everything you are looking for to know-how marketing works on social media.

SEO Strategies 

Marketing Strategy of ESPN - SEO

According to SEO ranking, the number of keywords- below 500 is bad, above 1000 is good and 10000+ is amazing. And according to this graph and keywords, ESPN has 20,400,000 keywords which is amazing. That means ESPN is already at the peak of its Digital Marketing. 

SEO helps in achieving your long-term goals for your brand. A good ranking and a favourable placement help in raising the profile of your brand. In short, SEO strategies are crucial for the development of the website and to provide more visibility to the relevant audience.

If you are someone who doesn’t want to miss any step in implementing the right SEO for your new website, then you must have a thorough go-through of our in-depth blog on Step-by-Step Guide on SEO for New Websites in 2022 – IIDE where you will explore a new website SEO checklist, all the SEO requirements for a new website, how long does SEO takes to work for a new website, and more. 

Influencer marketing

ESPN has many tie-ups with huge sports celebrities and has many followers on Instagram and Youtube has huge subscribers. ESPN hired Omar Raja who is the Instagram influencer for uploading the sports videos. ESPN took control of Ballervision’s youtube channel as well as of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. ESPN’s subscribers are growing day by day and the company is becoming more active on its social platforms.

E-Commerce Strategies

In E-Commerce, ESPN has a website for the retail store online that has a complete collection of sporting goods which they sell. It provides easy access to purchase sports equipment online for a reasonable amount. It keeps the Quality of the product in mind and has satisfied various consumers across the globe.It has collaborated with GSI Commerce Inc. which is a major provider of e-commerce. 

Mobile Application

ESPN has a mobile application that is free on Both Android and iOS.Its application is available on Playstore as well as on the Appstore. All the sports events are telecasted live on this application so you can watch them whenever you want, for free. 

Content Marketing

ESPN is highly active on Youtube and many other social media. Its main focus is to deliver various qualitative sporting events to its viewers. It is proven to be one of the largest growing American companies that provide different information on various sporting events. 

It has many sister channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and many more well-established channels across the world.

This ends the elaborative marketing strategy of ESPN. Let us conclude our learning below from the marketing strategy of ESPN.

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Conclusion- What’s Unique in ESPN’s Marketing?

In the marketing strategy of ESPN, The company’s motto is to provide sports anytime anywhere. It has launched its application for mobile users so that they can watch it everywhere.  It is a huge company that has many subchannels. It is still developing in the digital marketing sector for better quality. 

As we are aware, Digital Marketing is growing with growing technology. There are a few perks of an online era that it is easy to learn, and anyone can access it from anywhere There are many firms that provide online digital marketing courses.

Digital marketing is crucial since it links a company with its clients when they are online and is effective across all sectors. It links businesses with ideal consumers through SEO and PPC on Google, social media marketing, and email marketing. If you would like to learn more and develop skills, check out IIDE’s 4-Month Digital Marketing Course to learn more.

Alternatively, you can enrol in one of our free online masterclasses led by IIDE’s CEO, Karan Shah, to gain insight into the field of digital marketing. 

We hope this blog on the marketing strategy of ESPN has given you a good insight into the company’s marketing strategies.

If you like such in-depth analysis of companies just like the marketing strategy of ESPN check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read the marketing strategy of ESPN, and do share your thoughts on this case study marketing strategy of ESPN in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]

1 Comment

  1. Corey Smith

    Great Blog


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