As we do for certain televised events, we thought we would offer a “business blog” of the ESPN broadcast. The match was presented by AT&T. The night started with a voice over from Rob Stone and a pre game show that included Alexi Lalas and Julie Fowdy. Kudos for ESPN for providing background on the MLS playoff races early in the pre-game in addition to the expected plaudits for Manchester United. The pre-game also included some analysis from ESPN’s lead MLS team of JP DellaCamera and John Harkes.
Early advertisers included VW, the Marines, Starcraft 2, Prilosec OTC and series of local spots. After the break, Alan Hopkins interviewed Landon Donovan. Dick’s, KFC, Castrol, MLS W.O.R.K.S, Penzoil & AT&T. VW was the first on screen sponsor. Degree, AT&T, Dicks, NAPA, Makita, X-Box 360 & Gatorade were among the sign board sponsors that were apparent throughout.
Broadcast quality was generally good, although it was surprising that ESPN did not deploy some of the super slow mo cameras that were so prevalent in the World cup. Pepsi appeared as one of the screen sponsors and the non-electronic sign boards were home to some usual MLS sponsors such as Home Depot, adidas, Visa, Continental Tire and others.
The halftime show was fairly standard, although Lalas and Fowdy did present a fairly in depth discussino of the DP rule and the ramifications of the recent changes. Halftime advertisers were essentialy as those pre-game, with KFC, Pepsi and Penzoil among those involved. Camera work during the broadcast was generally good although crowd mics were fairly muted. VW presented the VW MVP award. Vanguard was a postgame sponsor.
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