Day: September 10, 2021

ESPN, Chasing High-School Sports Fans, Acquires Influential BallerVisions Social Accounts

ESPN viewers regularly tune in to hear about the exploits of national teams like the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Lakers and St. Louis Cardinals. But executives want to capture the interest of those eager for news about the high-school exploits of the Lake Travis Cavaliers of Texas, the Arizona Compass Prep Dragons and the Notre Dame Knights of Sherman Oaks, Calif.

To do so, the Disney-backed sports-media giant has hired Marcel “Celly” Chappell and acquired the social media accounts tied to his company, BallerVisions, which is known for its social and digital presence in the high-school sports landscape. Chappell will join ESPN’s social media team as a producer, and ESPN will take control of BallerVisions’ YouTube channel and presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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“We haven’t been as aggressive in the high-school video highlights space, even though a number of high school games are played on

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Game Day: Hawaii vs. Oregon State

Sep. 10—RAINBOW WARRIORS OFFENSE Four-back Calvin Turner made the “SportsCenter ” Top 10 highlights last week when he caught a lateral on the right side, pirouetted off two defenders’ radar, then raced around the left side for a 36-yard TD. It was a spectacular but familiar path for Turner—and UH’s offense. In the run-and-gun, receivers jet across the formation or orbit behind quarterback Chevan Cordeiro to rattle defenses. Turner often will align wide right, then arc to the left, running 40 yards to catch a 5-yard bubble screen. Mountain West teams, notably Boise State, have been realigning formations for a generation. The difference is the Warriors are trying to accelerate their shifts as part of quick-tempo offense, a pace head coach Todd Graham ran successfully at Tulsa and Arizona State. In the first half against Portland State, UH ran a play every 22.6 seconds in racing to a 35-7 lead.

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Kenny Mayne says he was on ESPN Twitter watch list

1. I’m torn.

There is a part of me that feels bad ESPN gets labeled (unfairly) as being “too political” because that narrative is nonsense.

SportsCenter anchors aren’t covering the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Stephen A. Smith isn’t talking about people not taking jobs because they are getting unemployment money. College GameDay isn’t explaining Joe Biden’s infrastructure deal.

So to say ESPN covers politics is disingenuous.

Now, do ESPN personalities tweet about politics? Sure. I think they tweet more about social justice issues than politics, but I know people don’t appreciate nuance these days.

It doesn’t appear ESPN’s executive senior vice president Norby Williamson appreciates any of it, though.

In a new (and excellent) interview with The Ringer, former SportsCenter stalwart, Kenny Mayne discussed his departure from the network and shared some hard-to-believe stories about just how paranoid and sensitive ESPN is about the whole politics thing.

“They were

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