Branding is king right? Well it all depends on how you do it. ESPN feels that the ESPN360 brand is inconsistent, so come April 4, 2010, it will be rebranded as ESPN3.com. Whether this is good or not remains to be seen. Personally I think it is a bad idea. Right now if someone asks where they can see an event, I can simply say on 360 and they know what I mean. To me, ESPN3 makes it sound too much like a television channel.
With the growing convergence of television and computing, it may not make a difference in the long run. But in the short tun, it may prove to be more confusing to people.
Here is the full press release from ESPN.
ESPN360.com to Become ESPN3.com in April
Enhancements to User Interface will Accompany Rename
Bristol, CT – On April 4, ESPN360.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network, will become ESPN3.com. At that time the network will also introduce new features and functionality that will enhance the viewing experience. Details of these enhancements will be released closer to the launch in the spring.
“The name ESPN3.com more closely aligns with the existing naming convention for our networks,” said Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing. "We have approached this as a network for years, and as users have become more accustomed to engaging with content across various screens, it made sense to make adjustments that reflect both the product’s and the industry’s evolution.”
Added Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN3.com, “The network will continue to offer the same great content that sports fans have come to expect, with more than 3,500 live events annually. We look forward to rolling out new enhancements to offer the best viewing experience possible in the months ahead.”
ESPN3.com will continue to give consumers control over their broadband sports viewing experience with the ability to pause and rewind live events. Fans will continue to be able to toggle between up to 20 events in a main viewing window, and with a single click, jump to another event. Video can be viewed in widescreen (16:9) and normal (4:3) views and can be expanded to full screen or reduced to a compact size. Recently completed events will continue to be archived and available for on-demand replay.
The site will feature the same live online sports coverage that users are accustomed to on ESPN360.com. Events include, but are not limited to:
* Basketball: NBA, Men’s and Women’s college basketball, Euroleague, FIBA, WNBA;
* Football: College Football (including the BCS Bowl games beginning next season)
* Soccer: FIFA World Cup events and global qualifiers, Football League (UK), Carling Cup (UK), La Liga (Spain), Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga Sagres, MLS, US National team, international “friendlies” and more;
* Baseball: MLB, College World Series, Little League World Series;
* Tennis: Hundreds of hours of multi-court coverage of all four “grand slam” events as well as select other events;
* Golf: extensive coverage of the US Open, The Masters, The Open Championship and more;
* Lacrosse: Major League Lacrosse, NCAA College Lacrosse;
* Misc. Sports: X Games and Winter X Games, NCAA Hockey and Softball, Open-wheel Racing, Professional Racquetball, International Polo and more.
The network is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider and is currently in 50 million households – a majority of US broadband homes. It is accessible via dozens of Internet Service Providers nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Comcast, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.
ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360.com (Broadband), ESPN Mobile Properties, ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.