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The 2016 College Football Championship on ESPN: 14 Ways to Watch with the CFP Megacast

Tonight's 2016 College Football Championship features #1 Clemson (13-0) vs. #2 Alabama (12-1) and kicks off at 8:30pm EST on ESPN. In addition to the telecast, we will be running Megacast across all our digital properties featuring 14 different ways to view and follow the game.

You can stream the linear broadcast, watch in Spanish, follow from above with the Spider Cam or from the endzone with the Pylon Caam. You can listen to the Hometown Broadcasts and root for Alabama or Clemson. Or, you can follow from the Taco Bell Student Section for a totally different experience. In total, there are 14 different ways to watch and each will be available directly inside your ESPN App (iOS and Android) or via your connected TV Apps (Apple TV, Roku, XBox, Amazon, etc).

And if you're following digitally - ESPN.com and the ESPN App will deliver all o the action through real-time video highlights and alerts. Enjoy!

clemson alabama cfp

Nike Gears Up for Alabama vs. Auburn Iron Bowl on Twitter (Again)

There was very good response from my earlier post on Nike's use of Twitter and using it as an example of successful and time-sensitive social commerce. So I thought I would share a couple quick follow up posts related to Nike's use of Twitter on the heels of a couple great promotions.

I mentioned in the prior post that Nike does a very good job tying promotions and gear to live / big events (I used the Broncos & Seahawks Super Bowl as an example). Today marks a huge day for college football:

- it's the Iron Bowl and that's always a big deal (#1 Alabama vs. #15 Auburn) - it's the rematch of last year's classic Alabama vs. Auburn Iron Bowl - it has huge implications on the inaugural College Football Playoff (Alabama is the #1 team in the nation) - and it's a national event: 7:45pm on ESPN

This is Nike's tweet roughly 24 hours ahead of the game. I assume they will share it again around kick-off (or a different variation):

It's simple. It's clever (stay on a "roll" for "Roll Tide"). It links to Alabama football's handle. The imagery is fantastic. And it links to a page full of Alabama specific products (53 to be exact).

Such a simple but effective use of social to take advantage of current & timely events... and to drive conversation, usage and commerce.

alabama football

albama nike gera

ESPN Fantasy Football 2014: New App, Twitter Cards, Sticker Packs, Tilt & More

Much is new in 2014 for the #1 Fantasy Football site and application on iOS and Android - a new look, a new experience, and a slew of new features (including integration with Tilt, as covered here).

Earlier this week, we released an update to both iOS and Android. A couple fun highlights worth mentioning... and a reminder that football kicks off shortly, so get drafting!

You can now share key moments from your fantasy season via social channels and optimized Twitter Cards. Here is an example of a the Fantasy Draft card that is players are sharing throughout and after their drafts:

twitter card fantasy 2

twitter card fantasy

Another update, which is also focused on adding some fun and personality to the game: the addition of custom team stickers and logos. Available within the mobile apps, we have logos around ESPN talent (like Matthew Berry and our NFL crew), popular culture (like Guardians of the Galaxy and Big Hero 6) and unique designs. You can see them here on Pinterest. Enjoy.

matt berry sticker pack

Nike Merchandises Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods & the PGA Championship

I love golf. I love Nike. And I love Rory. Unsurprisingly, I've also written a fair amount about each - particularly Nike and its use of social media and commerce. Here's on more to add to that collection - Rory McIlroy is the world's #1 golfer and tees off at the PGA Championship today. He also is a Nike athlete.

Just ahead of Rory's opening round tee off, Nike released the following Facebook post - which includes Rory's attire and gear for the entire four-day tournament. That then links to a custom short URL (http://gonike.me/Valhalla) with all of Rory's gear and the wider Nike offering.

Nike of course did the same for their other major star: Tiger Woods (also shown below).

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tiger woods nike gear

Introducing Fantasy Football 2014

Introducing ESPN's new Fantasy Football apps for 2014 - available now on iOS and Android. Highlights of this release are:

- Entirely new visual design - Full relaunch of the Android application - League creation and drafting from your mobile device - Get a team & join a league from your mobile device - Invite your friends with email, Twitter, Facebook Messenger or text message - Free alerts for injuries, scores, trades, and more - Fantasy News and Videos from ESPN Fantasy Football analysts.

And here are a couple of The Commish ad spots running on TV and other media:

[youtube.com/watch?v=_MtIC9AwtsI]

[youtube.com/watch?v=xt7q_cnkXas]

ESPN, Google & World Cup Highlights in Search Results

Yesterday, Google and ESPN combined to deliver real-time video highlights directly into Google search results via Google's homepage, World Cup related search queries and Google's new World Cup page, and so on. This integration will be live during the entire 2014 World Cup - meaning soccer fans can find their highlights.

- on ESPN.com & ESPNFC.com, ESPN's suite of mobile apps - on social media through integrations like Twitter Cards that play directly in-line and are sharable and embeddable - and now on Google and directly within search results

At ESPN, our mission is simply to serve sports fans, anytime and anywhere. This is another great, big step in that direction with our partners at Google.

World Cup 2014 Google and ESPN

Press coverage (as represented by Techmeme):

Chris Welch / The Verge: Google and ESPN partner to put World Cup highlights in search — If you're stuck in a cubicle at work and unable to watch every minute of the World Cup, Google and ESPN will at least help you keep up with the latest highlights. The two companies have teamed up to pair both in-progress …

More: The Official Google Blog, Re/code, GeekWire, The Next Web, eWeek, LAPTOP Magazine, Gigaom and Quartz

googlesearch world cup

Today on ESPN: US Open, World Cup 2014, NBA Finals

Today is one of those special days at ESPN: live on our networks and our digital suite of applications you'll find the US Open at Pinehurst, the opening game of the 2014 World Cup (Brazil vs. Croatia) and then Game 4 of the NBA Finals (Spurs at Heat). And that's in addition to a roster of other sporting events, news and happenings. It's a magical sports day and you can follow it all live and live-streamed on ESPN and ESPN apps. Everything will be available on Watch ESPN - which you can access on web, iPhone & iPad, Android phones & tablets, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, and more.

And you can follow along with the SportsCenter App (on iOS and Android) and the new ESPN FC App for World Cup and soccer (on iOS and Android).

You can also listen live via ESPN Radio, which is now available on iTunes Music, and of course via web, iOS, and Android.

It's a fun, unique day to be a sports fan - enjoy!

Schedule: US Open - 9am EST on ESPN, ESPN Radio & Watch ESPN App World Cup - 4pm EST on ESPN, ESPN Radio & Watch ESPN App NBA Finals - 9pm EST on ABC, ESPN Radio & Watch ESPN App SportsCenter - 11pm EST on ESPN & Watch ESPN App

june12sportscenter

ESPN's new College Football Play Center

Yesterday was the first saturday of college football's 2013-2014 season. And at ESPN, this is a holiday of sorts: from College Gameday (fun USA Today piece here) to the dozens of exclusive ESPN games available via Watch ESPN & ESPN3 on your Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Using the Watch ESPN Apple TV app - I was able to watch the Duke football game on our family room TV. And while we have plenty of options (from TV to apps) for you to watch individual football games - we wanted to create an experience that shows the breadth of the day's activity. For that, we created the College Football Play Center which launched yesterday on ESPN.com's homepage and will reappear throughout college football saturdays. Scoring plays, highlights, and on-air clips will stream into the feed seconds after they occur on the field. In the screenshot below - you see sequential scoring plays from Texas A&M to Maryland to NC State. You can view top plays as they stream in - or dig in specifically to individual games.

college football homepage

college football homepage2

Introducing the Watch ESPN Live Toolbar

We just released a major update to the WatchESPN app on iOS for iPhone and iPad. The latest WatchESPN version introduces several new enhancements, including Live Toolbar, which enhances content discovery and introduces more interactivity. Live Toolbar – available for iPad only – is designed with three main tabs across the bottom scroll of the screen.

- Live TV Lineup – an interactive channel guide that allows fans to easily navigate between ESPN live programming without exiting video - Scores – allows fans to navigate between live, upcoming and concluded games with scores, stats and video highlights - Top Videos – robust on-demand video offering of the latest news, highlights and analysis. Fans are able to watch Top Videos in spilt screen mode simultaneously with live programming Additional enhancements to the update for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch include:

- Access to ESPN3 for college students and military personnel on the WatchESPN app via on-campus (.edu) and on-base (.mil) Wi-Fi networks - App to app linking to the WatchABC app which enables easier navigation to view ESPN on ABC events

You can download the WatchESPN application here.

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More:

- Todd Spangler / Variety: Fox Sports TV Everywhere Service Is No-Show, as ESPN Beefs Up iPad App - Peter Kafka / AllThingsD: Multitask Nation: ESPN Lets iPad Users Call Up Scores, Clips, While they Watch Live Video - Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch: ESPN's WatchESPN iPad App Adds A Live Toolbar With Scores, Stats, And On-Demand Clips - Jordan Golson / MacRumors: WatchESPN Updated With - Split-Screen Live and On-Demand Viewing for iPad [iOS Blog] - Jordan Kahn / 9to5Mac: WatchESPN app updated for iOS 7, adds ‘Live Toolbar’ that lets you stream two videos at once - Janko Roettgers / GigaOM: Good news, college students: ESPN now lets you stream for free to the iPad - Paul Sawers / The Next Web: WatchESPN for iPad now serves up stats, scores and on-demand clips via a live toolbar