As we do every so often, today we present a business blog of a prominent televised soccer event. The New York/Los Angeles rivalry provides the latest installment in this regular feature. The match was rescheduled into weekday prime time because of Hurricane Irene and provides a national outlet for the Red Bulls’ diminishing playoff hopes. Despite the absence of Donovan and Keane, the match does allow the league to feature Henry and Beckham for a wide audience.
Following a busy Summer of international friendlies, ESPN broadcasts have been few and far between. However, the match is still “ESPN game of the week” presented by adidas. Adrian Healey John Harkes did the honors from the booth and started the telecast with typical banter about the fortunes of each team. The first round of commercials included the typical spot from Dick’s, an ad from GoToMeeting (Citrix), Jamaica (via American Airlines) and Progressive Insurance.
The telecast quickly returned to commercials after setting the lineups with the always excellent adidas “all in” spot, followed by Budweiser “grab some buds” the former SuperBowl VW Darth Vader ad and a nice ad for MLS W.O.R.K.S. Continental Tire presented an “analysts corner”. The stadium looked shockingly empty at kickoff. Dick’s was the first scoreboard sponsor followed by Chelada and VW. The usual league sponsors were visible on the electronic sign boards, including AT&T, VW, Pepsi Max, Castrol, Continental, Gatorade, Panasonic Home Depot, el Jimador, Makita, Bimbo and Degree.
Halftime ads in advance of the Hot Pockets halftime show included Dick’s, TD Ameritrade, Progressive (twice) and local spots. The studio team included Max Bretos and Alexi Lalas. Other spots included AllState, Dunkin Donuts, VW, Continental Tire and more. The adds surrounded a brief SportsCenter update.