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ESPN AND MICROSOFT UNVEIL “THE ULTIMATE XBOX 360 ENTERT..

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ESPN AND MICROSOFT UNVEIL “THE ULTIMATE XBOX 360 ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE” SWEEP

ESPN AND MICROSOFT UNVEIL “THE ULTIMATE XBOX 360 ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE” SWEEP
Published by sjohn on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tune in tonight to ESPN’s SportsCenter at 8pm PST/ 11:00 pm EST for a sports program packed with an Xbox 360 punch. As the sole advertiser during this special edition of SportsCenter, Microsoft will air a total of seven minutes of national commercial time with compelling Xbox 360 ads such as “Cops and Robbers” and “Mad World.” Microsoft and ESPN also kick off “The Ultimate Xbox 360 Entertainment Experience”, a three week online sweepstakes with entry through www.Xbox360winitall.com. Viewers will be asked five questions about the commercial spots. If they get three or more correct, they will automatically be entered in the sweepstakes.

Once entered into the sweepstakes, people will have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, including a free trip to Bristol, Connecticut to visit the set of ESPN’s SportsCenter. Additional prizes include Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment systems, an assortment of Xbox 360 games and Xbox 360 accessories. The sweepstakes runs until December 18.

For the first time in the United States, Microsoft will also unveil the “Cops and Robbers” advertisement, which captures the gaming experience as an exhilarating adventure. In addition, viewers will have the opportunity to watch “Mad World,” a cinematic commercial for “Gears of War,” the new third-person tactical action/horror game developed by Epic Games exclusively for Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system. As a testament to the popularity of the game and the response to the advertisement, the commercial has been downloaded online more than 1 million times and has been modified on community websites like YouTube.com in over 100 iterations.

Gears of War” was shipped in North America on Tuesday, November 7th and has sold more than 1 million copies world-wide in just its first two weeks of release—elevating the game to the fastest-selling original next generation game of 2006.

“Xbox 360 and ESPN are a match made in heaven, as we both speak to the same audience,“ says Mike Fischer, general manager of U.S. Games Marketing. “The Xbox 360 is the best way to take passion for competitive games, including competitive sports to the next level with the great lineup of hi-def games, including games for every major league sport. This media relationship provides a sweet spot to spread the word about our powerful next-generation Xbox 360 experience.”

Xbox 360 as the sole advertiser for the November 28th SportsCenter is a testament to the popularity of the program and the strong demographic tie to the ESPN audience. Ed Erhardt, president, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales added “We are constantly trying to create ways in which we provide advertisers with an opportunity to break through the clutter for high impact in the marketplace.”

SportsCenter is ESPN’s flagship news program and provides television’s most thorough and entertaining presentation of the day’s news in sports. Having revolutionized televised sports news, SportsCenter anchors ESPN, Inc.’s 24-hour news and information franchise.

ESPN televises more than 23 hours of live SportsCenter each week – three times daily at 6:00 p.m. ET, 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. Additional live editions of SportsCenter are featured Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday mornings, currently at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The 1 a.m. (10:00 p.m. PT) SportsCenter is re-aired at 2 a.m., with live updates as needed each night, and on weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and Sundays from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
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