$10M Contest from ESPN Deportes


ESPN Deportes is looking to kick up promotional payouts a notch or 10 -- or 10 million.

While National Football League and Major League Baseball promos have delivered $1 million to winners and Home & Garden Television annually awards a “Dream House” of the same value, ESPN Deportes is raising the bar to $10 million with its “Fútball a Football” contest, which kicks off Monday.

“This is by far the largest promotion prize I can remember on the affiliate side in my 23 years in cable,” said Robyn Remick, vice president of affiliate marketing at Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “It’s something I think our viewers and sports fans are going to be very excited about.”

The multifaceted, affiliate-tied promotion -- which reflects the network’s programming of Latino-targeted sports offerings and the best of Anglo athletics, including MLB and NFL action -- will afford a randomly selected sweepstakes entrant the opportunity to land a soccer ball in an unguarded goal from 50 yards out, then turn around and split the uprights from 40 yards.

The chance will come at Texas Stadium during ESPN’s coverage of the Jan. 2 NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams. If successful, the kicker will pocket a cool $10 million.

The 19-month-old ESPN Deportes, which counts just under 1 million subscribers, also wants to reap dividends from the campaign by building buzz and driving acquisition in the Spanish-language sports arena, where it trails Fox Sports en Español and soccer-centric Gól TV in the race to connect with the nation’s 10.7 million Latino TV households.

Remick said ESPN Deportes is insured should it have to award the eight-figure prize. At the 2004 MLB All-Star Game in Houston, Taco Bell Corp. granted $1 million when a man threw five pitches through a faux strike zone within 30 seconds. Participants have also scored a couple of times in recent years with The Hershey Million Dollar Kick, according to an NFL spokesman.

For more on ESPN Deportes’ Fútball a Football, please see Mike Reynolds’ story on page one of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.