- Sports channel ESPN last night unveiled a campaign to highlight the features of its app as more fans use mobile devices to find news, information, highlights and livestreamed games. The "One App, One Tap" campaign debuted with a 60-second commercial that aired during the 2020 American Music Awards on ABC, according to a press release.
- The spot includes vocals from performing artist Chika, and shows a quick succession of shoutouts, cameos and highlights of star athletes, coaches and ESPN personalities. The spot shows the breadth of ESPN content that mobile users can experience in the app, including direct-to-consumer (DTC) and personalization features. ESPN worked with agency BSSP on the spot.
- ESPN has the top sports app, leading its next closest competitor in average monthly visitors by 244% and minutes a month by 98% through October, per measurement company Comscore. In September, the app saw its best month ever for streaming, with total unique devices and total time spent rising 15%, per Adobe Analytics data cited by ESPN.
ESPN's campaign to showcase its mobile app comes as the network aims to reach sports fans whose viewing habits have shifted to connected devices amid a broader trend in cord-cutting. While TV viewership of live sports has declined during the pandemic, ESPN can position itself for a rebound next year. The development of several successful vaccines in recent tests promises to halt the pandemic, setting the stage for fan attendance to bounce back. Having more fans in seats is likely to help boost viewership for ESPN's various channels including its mobile app since crowd reactions are a key part of making live games more exciting for at-home audiences.
ESPN's promotion of its mobile app arrives amid mobile ad spending's 20% growth forecast to $290 billion worldwide next year as consumers spend more time using apps for at-home activities, per app analytics firm App Annie. The time spent on at-home mobile activities including streaming, shopping, finance and education will rise 43% next year as many consumers grow more reliant on their smartphones. The increased viewership of over-the-top (OTT) video is more likely to negatively affect spending on linear TV rather than mobile platforms, the researcher predicted. That tendency makes it more crucial that ESPN diversifies its distribution on connected devices including smartphones to maintain or grow its audience.
The disruption to live sports has forced networks including ESPN to innovate in their programming and content delivery methods. As many professional sports organizations suspended operations, ESPN aired classic games and matches from prior years, and shifted its schedule to air original programming like "The Last Dance." The docuseries chronicled the effort by NBA legend Michael Jordan to extend his championship streak with the Chicago Bulls. ESPN signed up Facebook, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and State Farm as presenting sponsors for the 10-part series.