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ESPN Personalities Shill For Penny-Auction Site, Despite The Worldwide Leader's "Endorsement Guidelines" [UPDATE]

I don't know if penny-auction site is a scam, but googling "skoreit scam" returns about 21,000 results, most of them from sites like RipoffReport, ComplaintsBoard, ScamBook, and FindTheScam.

Draw your own conclusions on SkoreIt. Of greater concern to us is the repeated shilling for the site in spots featuring ESPN personalities Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, Tom Jackson, and Mark Schlereth—spots that run in heavy rotation on the ESPN family of networks (a compilation of them can be viewed above). Even if they're endorsing a legitimate site and doing so in an honest manner, it forces us to revisit the ESPN talent endorsement policy announced to such public acclaim back in April.


ESPN published the list (a requirement of the policy) here a few days later, and hasn't updated it since. It appeared to be incomplete even upon its publication, lacking any reference to Mel Kiper, Jr.—who endorses plenty of products and programs (his availability to shill for you can be found here). Also missing from the list? Craig James, who has for some time now operated a political advocacy group (something ESPN's guidelines call a "strict review category" with a "strong presumption that they will not be approved").

James, of course, is now running for U.S. Senate. (He's now on leave from ESPN.)


What else in ESPN's endorsement guidelines is being ignored? The very first rule, which reads:

The following endorsements/related activity are not permitted:

a) Any activity in which talent is required to wear or be associated with any ESPN mark, insignia or logo or is portrayed in the endorsement material as an ESPN personality, announcer or employee


Go back and look at the SkoreIt spots and observe they not only portray the personalities as ESPN employees but their identity as ESPN talent is integral to the spots themselves. I'm not aware of any endorsements running on ESPN or elsewhere that operate this way—they're more akin to SportsCenter promos than advertisements for a penny-auction website. Again, you have to wonder: Why have formalized standards when the only real standard at ESPN is that the people in charge get to make up the rules as they go along?


We've asked ESPN for comment, and we'll update when we hear back.

Update [11:15 a.m.]: ESPN spokesperson Josh Krulewitz says the company is in the process of updating the list.

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