Those old enough to remember the launch of Sports Illustrated For Kids know what fun is in store for America with ESPN's newest venture, ESPN Rise. It's ESPN's attempt to go after the high school demographic with content — including a magazine, programming events and even a presence on SportsCenter — aimed at 12- to 17-year-olds. Can't wait! Trey Wingo: "This one time, at band camp ..."
ESPN announced it has formally launched a high school sports content initiative that has been named ESPN RISE. ESPN RISE is a multimedia brand dedicated to growing ESPN’s 12- to 17-year-old audience, while providing ESPN fans with compelling high school sports content across all of ESPN’s platforms including programming and events, digital media and publishing.
Not surprising, since ESPN had already acquired SchoolSports Inc., a high school-focused sports and lifestyle media company, in December of last year. SchoolSports publishes several magazines including RISE, Gridiron, Hardwood and GIRL; ventures ESPN will revamp and continue. But there will also be TV programming, and a big web presence. So get ready for that reality show that follows a Pop Warner League football team through the good times and the bad. There's a fat kid, and a kid whose parents just don't understand him. And they're coached by Bill Romanowski and Flava Flav! (Thursdays at 7).
I wish this venture all the best, because I've long thought that prep water polo has been sadly neglected at the national media level. But I also can't help but think that, like Alexander's forays into India, this seems a good example of an empire expanding too far. It's not enough for ESPN to bring us the Little League World Series and cover news like De La Salle of Concord (Calif.)'s national-record football winning streak. Everything needs to be compartmentalized over there, as the WWL acts like that person you know who won't allow different kinds of food to touch each other on their plate.
Hmm, I wonder if I can get this exciting new content on my ESPN Mobile phone?.
ESPN Now Targeting Nations Youth With ESPN Rise [Awful Announcing]
New ESPN High School Sports Initiative To Launch: ESPN RISE [ESPN Corporate Information]