|Tuesday, May 15
ESPN INTERNET GROUP AWARDED TOP HONORS BY SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL
Site Continues to Show Growth With Record Traffic and New Innovations
ESPN.com has been named the Top Sports Web Site by Sports Business Journal as part of the magazine's first annual New Media Awards, honoring achievement in new media during the past year. In addition, John Skipper, senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Internet Group, was named Top New Media Executive. The awards come at a time when ESPN.com is experiencing tremendous growth and continuing to introduce new innovations to the marketplace. ESPN.com is part of the Walt Disney Internet Group. "Our decision wasn't even close," said John Genzale, editor-in-chief of Sports Business Journal. "ESPN.com is the clear-cut leader among sports sites. It has been a pioneer in many aspects, and continues to blaze new trails in an effort to bring consumers the ultimate online sports experience."
Recent ESPN.com highlights include: · ESPN.com generated a site record 7.9 million unique users in March, according to Media Metrix; the site also generated 416 million page views, more than its two nearest competitors combined;
· Entries for the NBA Playoffs Pick 'n' Roll game, enabling users to submit bracket entries for the playoffs, increased 86% over last year; entries for the site's annual First Round Forecast contest for the NFL Draft increased 59% over last year;
· ESPN.com has recently introduced several new sponsored games and challenges, including the Greg Norman Fantasy Challenge Presented by Chevy Trailblazer, the Citgo Horse Racing Pick Six Challenge and the Mazda Fantasy Hockey Playoff Challenge;
· Recent Big Impression advertisers include Coca-Cola, promoting the new "Life Tastes Good" campaign, Honda, EA Sports, Smirnoff, Wild Turkey, Beck's and Warner Brothers, which promoted the recently released movie "Driven;"
· ESPN.com's 3Play game, presented by Gatorade, has generated more than 106 million plays and 4.4 million unique users since launching on April 1, 2000; Since launch, the highest traffic day for 3Play occurred on March 15, 2001, with more than 525,000 plays;
· ESPN.com's sixth annual ESPN Tournament Challenges, which challenged users to pick the winners of each game throughout the NCAA Division I college basketball tournaments, generated a record 830,000 sign-ups;
· ESPN.com's array of wireless offerings recently expanded to include the Men's Tournament Challenge and Tourney Pick'Em (NCAA basketball tournament), enhanced Fantasy Baseball updates and in-progress NFL Draft updates and results.
ESPN.com, the leading sports Web site, is part of the Walt Disney Internet Group. Walt Disney Internet Group is one of five business units of The Walt Disney Company and manages many of the most popular Web sites and services, including Disney.com, ESPN.com, ABC.com and ABCNEWS.com. Additional properties include Family.com, Mr.Showbiz, Movies.com, Wall of Sound, DisneyAuctions.com, DisneyStore.com, DisneyVacations.com, Soccernet.com and NFL.com. Walt Disney Internet Group also produces Enhanced TV telecasts in conjunction with select ABC Television and ESPN programming and includes the catalog operations of The Walt Disney Company and 19 Disney-branded international properties. Steve Wadsworth is president of Walt Disney Internet Group, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, CA, and has operations in Bristol, CT; Seattle; New York; Tokyo and London. -30-
Ashley Swadel, ESPN.com (212) 456-7890 or firstname.lastname@example.org