Disney Advertising and Ally Flip the Game With Women-Focused SportsCenter Takeovers on ESPN
Disney Advertising and Ally Financial Inc have created two first-of-their-kind SportsCenter takeovers, with an emphasis on women’s sports moments. The takeovers, which feature exclusive content, are a continuation of the multi-year, multimillion dollar sponsorship package Ally and Disney announced earlier this year.
Set to be anchored by Elle Duncan and Nicole Briscoe, the SportsCenter takeovers will be led primarily by an all-female production team and are scheduled to air both in-show and during commercial time throughout the 11 p.m. ET editions of SportsCenter on July 27 and August 11, 2023.
“At Disney, we prioritize amplifying women’s sports and collaborating with like-minded brands to tell diverse sports stories,” says Deidra Maddock, VP, Disney Advertising Sports Brand Solutions. “This particular execution with Ally marks the first time that we’ve developed such a unique combination of tactics and solutions to elevate women in sports – and we’re incredibly proud to be working alongside them on this initiative.”
When it comes to content development and casting in front of and behind the camera, leveling the playing field is not only a company priority, but also a business imperative. Ally shares this commitment to inclusivity and equity, as evidenced by the digital financial services brand’s landmark pledge to reach equal spending on advertising between men’s and women’s sports by 2027. Ally’s media investment with Disney was an important step in advancing this pledge, and both companies’ desire to increase representation through engaging, women-focused content.
““ESPN is a leader in women’s sports coverage, and Ally is a leader in intentional and equitable sports media investments. Together, we’re demonstrating our shared commitment to elevating women’s sports,” says Stephanie Marciano, head of sports and entertainment marketing at Ally. “These takeovers, which are unique and creative, deliver an important message – increasing visibility and investment changes the game. Our collaboration is another example of how brands and media can work together to advance women’s sports and meet fan demand.”
As the exclusive sponsor of the takeovers, Ally will own all the commercial time in the two custom episodes and will receive branding throughout the show. Each of the designated editions of SportsCenter will conclude with live commercials featuring the two anchors that will transition seamlessly into Ally’s branded content. ESPN CreativeWorks, Disney’s in-house creative agency, developed elements of the branded campaign in collaboration with Ally, its creative agency, Anomaly, and its media agency, EssenceMediacom.
Additionally, Ally and ESPN CreativeWorks developed a series of 60-second spots, titled Flip the Game. Featuring ESPN basketball analyst Monica McNutt and WNBA legend Sue Bird, each spot will sarcastically illustrate and describe how a SportsCenter segment could look in an alternative reality in which a financial services company needed to step up to support men’s sports.
In 2022 alone, more than 33,000 hours of women’s sports programming aired on ESPN. Expanding on the collaboration with Ally, the media company plans to increase resources and accessibility for everyone to enjoy the incredible talent of women athletes.