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ESPY Awards Score Early Advertising Sell Out

(Image credit: ESPN)

 ESPN said it has sold out its advertising inventory for The ESPYs earlier than ever, with more than 20 advertisers set to air spots during the awards show.

Until live sports comeback, ESPN has been trying to maximize viewership and revenue with events like the NFL draft and documentaries like The Last Dance. The ESPYs is also likely to draw attention.

Capital One returns as the presenting sponsor of the program, which will air on ESPN on June 21.

This year’s ESPYs will also include the Sports Humanitarian Awards, with Bristol Myers Squibb returning as presenting sponsor.

Other ESPYs sponsors include Gatorade, which will be celebrating student athletes, MassMutual, which presents the Pat Tillman Award for Service and Saint Archer Gold for Athletes United, a fun look at what athletes have been doing at home in the recent months.

AT&T will also mark the first SeeHer Greatest Female Performances feature, raising the visibility of women’s sports.

Cisco Webex signed up as the official technology partner of the 2020 ESPYs. Webex is being used by athletes in their homes for interviews and other storylines within the show. Webex is also sponsoring this year's honorary ESPYs recognizing high school athletes. ABC’s owned TV stations will utilize Webex to feature the athlete in their homes on Localish in the week leading up to the ESPYs.

Other sponsors of the Sports Humanitarian Awards include Dove Men+Care, which will present the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award; Anthem Foundation, presenting the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award and UFC as sponsor of the Stuart Scott Enspire Awards.

The ESPYs will be hosted by Sue Bird of the WNBA, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The show is shifting its focus from athletic achievement to service and courage in the world of sports.

Jon Lafayette
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.