Our intern Maddie breaks down ESPN and Twitter’s expanded partnership

You’re already on Twitter during the big game, trash talking your neighbor about your NBA team’s domination in the first half of the second game in the series. If only you could tweet the impressive dunk that Lebron James just had… well, now you can. In the beginning of May, ESPN and Twitter announced the expansion of their partnership, allowing Twitter users to watch video highlight clips on Twitter soon after it happens live. The videos come as a new form of advertising revenue for Twitter, as ESPN will sell ads inside the video clips and sponsors will buy a minimum value of paid Tweets to circulate their message from Twitter. These tweets will be seen to all users as “promoted” tweets.

Twitter and ESPN are not strangers to working together, however. Their initial partnership was announced last year, which began with the integration of Twitter posts on ESPN telecasts. There is good reason to believe that the latest partnership will be a beneficial move. The first trial run happened last December, and highlights of college football games were posted to Twitter. Ford bought the ads to run inside the videos, which were reportedly seen about 7 million times.

ESPN plans to include soccer games, college football, and the X Games to begin the effort. For fans who are patiently waiting the arrival of this new progression in the life of the ever-evolving Twitterverse, ESPN is kicking off #GameFace during the current NBA Finals. Fans are encouraged to tweet pictures of their best “game face” throughout the finals. The best pictures of the day will be shown on-air and online on ESPN, and the winner will receive a grand tour of ESPN headquarters.


Though countless companies and organizations take to Twitter to engage with their publics, Twitter says this is the first time they have officially partnered with a network to create a custom sponsorship package. And we aren’t complaining. For all those times you are working during the big game, you can now have your friends tweeting you near real-time footage, as if you are practically watching the game, only a few seconds behind Jadeveon Clowney’s next huge hit.

In the realm of social media and sports, this move will be an essential part of a sports fan’s routine during an event. For advertisers, it is another creative outlet to gain publicity. We think this will be a great addition to the Twitterverse, let us know what you think!