ESPN Marketing Strategy & Marketing Mix (4Ps)

Published in Services category by MBA Skool Team

Here is the marketing strategy of ESPN which analyzes the brand with the marketing mix framework which covers the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion).

ESPN Product Strategy:

The product strategy and mix in ESPN marketing strategy can be explained as follows:

ESPN is one of the leading sports channel in the world covering global sports events. ESPN has several channels and broadcast shows and programs which are a part of its marketing mix. ESPN classic, was launched in 1995 as The Classic Sports Network by Brian Bedol and was purchased by ESPN in 1997 rebranding it as a digital satellite TV network. ESPN news, launched in 1996 is a digital and satellite TV network focussed on highlights, sports news and press conferences.

ESPN Deportes, launched in 2001 provides Spanish language simulcasts in Major League Baseball to Spanish viewers. Another one, The Longhorn Network focusses on Texas Longhorns varsity teams of the Texan University at Austin. In the US alone, ESPN is available in close to a 100 million households.

Image: flickr-photos/hyku/

ESPN Price/Pricing Strategy:

Below is the pricing strategy in ESPN marketing strategy:

ESPN is one of the few global channels focusing on sports coverage. But since there is competition, its mostly follows a competitive pricing in its marketing mix.

If a sports channel is not viewed as a value for money proposition, it will not do well in the televised category of content. ESPN caters to a wide range of target audiences which is differentially priced depending on the type, category, place and quality of broadcasts. It follows a high quality, reasonable service price strategy to meet its financial profit targets. The pricing of ESPN also is dependent whether it is normal of HD, online, special events like World Cup’s, Olympics etc.

Read more about ESPN

ESPN Place & Distribution Strategy:

Following is the distribution strategy in the ESPN marketing mix:

ESPN is a worldwide leader in sports coverage, and its globally present through various cable and satellite operators. Operating out of offices in Miami, New York, Charlotte, Seattle, Los Angeles and broadcasting from Bristol, ESPN has services to more than 200 countries including Americas, UK, Australia, Brazil. Its ESPN+ which was launched in 2002 is watched in Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Also, with the growing internet penetration, ESPN is easily accessible through its apps & website worldwide.

ESPN Promotion & Advertising Strategy:

The promotional and advertising strategy in the ESPN marketing strategy is as follows:

ESPN, being a giant in the field of sports television broadcasts and highlights, understands the imperative need to promote and market its services to target viewers. In its marketing mix, ESPN uses sponsorship and coverage of global events as its main source of marketing. Facing stiff competition from other Star Networks which also heavily rely on promotions on several other network, ESPN utilizes the video content generation and integration strategy to further its promotional needs. ESPN also is promoted as a product placement in various Hollywood movies. Other than this, ABL and BTL, including social media, boards, hoardings and print advertisements. Promotion of ESPN is also done by engaging global sports personalities across sports.

Since this is a service marketing brand, here are the other three Ps to make it the 7Ps marketing mix of ESPN.


ESPN relies on a number of people to further its business interests. These include the employees as well as target audience. ESPN realizes the need to hire and train people who are passionate about sports and can deliver content and assist in broadcasting of sports and its related events. From analysts to journalists to commentators, all the people employed with ESPN are knowledgeable about the sports being covered. By 1990 ESPN had spread to 75 million viewers and was growing extremely fast. Currently close to 100 million households in US alone get ESPN.

Physical Evidence:

ESPN offices, channels and its website are its biggest physical evidence and point of contact for customers. For ESPN it is paramount to understand how the physical process of delivery and broadcast of content is perceived by the audience and how it responds at the quality of entertainment or information. For example does the customer think of ESPN the moment it considers the word ‘Sports’. Being a market leader, ESPN does take pride in the fact that in a niche or regular category ESPN is now a word which is extremely popular with sports fans.


ESPN has several business processes in place for ensuring quality service delivery to customers. The systems and whole bunch of processes which assist ESPN in capturing content, from video to audio to print as well as photographs and then integrating them into a series of content pool for consumption is a well established network. ESPN relies heavily on media and television, viewership, reporters as well as photographers and videographers, hosts and guests to deliver utmost quality of content to fan followers and sports aficionados. Hence, this concludes the ESPN marketing mix.

About ESPN:

ESPN, earlier known as the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is a television channel jointly owned by Hearst Corporation and Walt Disney based in US and using cable and satellite links for sports broadcasts to more than 90 million TV households in the US alone. It also offers services of seven other channels. Starting with SportsCenter, launched in 1979 telecasting the for the first time its flagship channel and taping in Bristol studios in front of a live audience.

In 1985, ESPN was acquired by Capital Cities Communication and effectively owned by ABC. The rate at which ESPN grew allowed it by 2012 in the generation of profits for Disney more than its other properties together.

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse marketing strategy and 4Ps analysis of more brands similar to ESPN. The Marketing Strategy & Mix section covers 4Ps and 7Ps of more than 800 brands in 2 categories.

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The names and other brand information used in the Marketing Strategy & Mix section are properties of their respective companies. The companies are not associated with MBA Skool in any way.

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