What young athlete doesn’t dream of being on SportsCenter? Now amateur and high school athletes around the country will have their shot. Through a new partnership with YouTube, ESPN is looking to crowdsource highlights. The best may wind up on ESPN’s flagship program.
Broadcasting & Cable calls it a stunt, but it’s more than that. This is a partnership that makes a lot of sense for ESPN which is looking to generate more engagement from fans on digital platforms. From time to time the broadcaster has featured local footage of high school and college highlights, and they have dabbled in live chats through Facebook and other social mediums. And when ESPN dabbles in local sports coverage themselves they bring a often unwelcome circus, so it makes a lot of sense that they would take advantage of the YouTube platform to solicit top plays.
Last year for example a buzzer beating 3-point shot by Walsh University’s Jeremy Shardo to take the team to the NAIA championship was featured as the number two in ESPN’s top 10 plays. The game which had no TV audience was livestreamed by CollegeFanz. More content is better for everyone, hopefully we can look forward to more local sports being showcased on a national level.