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ESPN Launches Cross-Media Research Platform With 2010 World Cup

March 22, 2010: Radio is part of the plan for ESPN XP, an ambitious research platform being rolled out by ESPN with the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The initiative, to study consumer behavior around major sporting events, involves partners the Nielsen Co. , Keller Fay Group, Knowledge Networks, the Media Behavior Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School's Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, with more to be announced later.

"We have learned a lot about cross-media behavior since we began work in this field in 2002," ESPN SVP/Research and Analytics Artie Bulgrin said. "ESPN XP represents a major step forward in our commitment to further advance the knowledge about multimedia use and the total and incremental impact it has on our clients' media campaigns."

ESPN says its new platform will mark the first time a media company has attempted to measure all media platforms around a single event. Measuring the World Cup is the first of a series of planned quarterly projects for ESPN XP.

Nielsen will be working with ESPN to measure advertiser exposure across TV, Internet, and mobile, with Nielsen Online looking at website usage, streaming video, and streaming audio.

"Nielsen's commitment to innovative research into how people watch and use media across multiple platforms builds on

sustained collaboration across the entire industry," Nielsen SVP/Client Insights Howard Shimmel said. "Participating in ESPN XP's World Cup project provides a tremendous opportunity to advance this understanding. Our hope is that insights derived from measuring major media events, particularly in live sports and across all media, will help advertisers and programmers make smarter decisions to grow their businesses in the years ahead."

Keller Fay will be looking at word-of-mouth surrounding the sponsoring brands during the World Cup and how ESPN platforms drive word-of-mouth among fans, while Knowledge Networks will use its Total Touch method to look at weekly exposure to World Cup across TV, Internet, mobile, radio, and print. Knowledge Networks will also provide shopper data.

The Media Behavior Institute will be contributing research from its USA TouchPoints cross-media service, while the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative is working with ESPN on a predictive model to project multichannel media consumption across Internet and mobile.

"This is about the future of cross-media measurement," ESPN VP/Integrated Media Research Glenn Enoch said. "We are working with these companies to help develop a model for the industry, to advance knowledge about cross-media research and behavior, to find techniques that work and discard ones that don't. We want to bring work in this area closer to currency measures and bring the industry closer to a day when measuring cross-platform behavior is a standard practice instead of a special project."


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