The Worldwide Leader in Sports is going local.
ESPN announced it will plan to launch a new Chicago-themed sports site in April named ESPNChicago.com. It will feature local breaking sports news and original content, including three-to-five minute local SportsCenter video segments. Also, ESPN Chicago plans to add social networking to the site as well.
Already, MillerCoors is on board as a prominent advertiser.
Contributors include ESPN writers with Chicago ties: Former Tribune sportswriter Gene Wojciechowski and Chicago native Scoop Jackson, plus WMVP-AM personalities Tom Waddle and Bruce Levine.
Thought: So, the Worldwide Leader in B.S. is getting into the Chicago sports game. Judging from the look of the screenshots I’ve looked at, this site has a very good chance of drawing Chicago sports fans in, even if many of them hate ESPN (look at the comments section of the linked story. You’d think the site would prominently feature Roland Burris…) The screenshot looks clean, neat and well-organized. I also like the fact it will feature breaking news, and emphanize syngeries between the site, WMVP-AM (ESPN 1000), and WLS-TV. All three are owned by The Walt Disney Company.
The site also plan to staff some Chicago writers, which is a good thing. ESPN Chicago also does not plan to hire Jay Mariotti, which is even a better thing.
If this works, ESPN could launch local websites in other sports-crazed cities including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.