Redbox Ups College Sports Outreach With Pac-12 Marketing Deal

College students love to stream music and videos. So Redbox, which operates a network of kiosks renting DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies, has reportedly inked a marketing campaign with the Pac-12 college sports conference targeting students, their parents, alumni and sports fans.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under the multiyear campaign, Redbox, starting this year, become an official marketing partner with all 12 member schools, which include: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University.

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The disc rental service, which also operates an on-demand digital platform, becomes an official partner for all Pac-12 Championship events, in addition to home football and men’s basketball games, with event signage and marketing rights. The deal also includes Pac-12 Networks’ linear and digital networks.

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Redbox, for the past two years, has been the title sponsor of the Redbox Bowl (originally San Francisco Bowl) featuring schools from the Pac-12 and Big 10 conferences.

The deal comes as attendance at football games declines. Since the 2012 season, when the Pac-12 drew 53,679 fans, attendance has dropped nearly 14% to 46,176 fans in 2019.

While some observers might link drooping football attendance to the quality of play on the gridiron, AJ Maestas, CEO of Navigate Research, told The Mercury News that enhancing consumers’ experience at games would offset escalating ticket, concession and parking prices — while ignoring wins and losses on the playing field.

“Leveling the playing field with the home viewing experience, timely video board replays, mobile phone connectivity, better food and beverage experience — those are just a few examples of possible in-stadium improvements,” Maestas said.

Now add a Redbox movie rental to the experience.


Comcast and ESPN Announce Launch of Sports Networks on Xfinity X1

Comcast and ESPN Sept. 5 announced the launch of ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + on Xfinity X1, giving sports fans the ability to stream over the Internet, directly on their television, coverage of college football with more than 150 live games, and more than 5,000 live events annually, including international soccer, Grand Slam tennis matches, college basketball and other collegiate athletics.

All content from across the three networks will be searchable with Comcast’s X1 voice remote and integrated into the same screens and menus as the other sports programming that comes with a customer’s Xfinity TV subscription, according to the announcement.

“Simplicity continues to be essential in today’s dynamic media landscape,” said Sean Breen, SVP, affiliate sales, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, in a statement. “We’re fortunate to have relationships with Comcast to seamlessly serve customers and sports fans on a platform that delivers the best of both traditional and digital video viewing experiences, and the addition of ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + are perfect examples of that.”

“From football and soccer to volleyball and field hockey, this launch gives college sports fans incredible access to live events from schools including Florida State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh in the ACC, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M in the SEC, and dozens more from across the entire country on ESPN3,” said Vito Forlenza, executive director, TV Everywhere content and product strategy, Comcast Cable, in a statement. “ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + add a new dynamic to the already deep catalog of sports programming that’s currently available on X1. Combined with universal voice control and the X1 sports app, we are providing customers with the richest, most immersive sports viewing experience in the country.”

With the three new networks customers can:

  • find live coverage from ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + intermixed alongside other live sporting events showcased within X1’s sports destination;
  • get access to the Xfinity Sky Cam’s live game feeds providing exclusive angles and commentary;
  • by saying “ESPN3,” “ACC Network Extra” or “SEC Network +” into the X1 voice remote discover everything available to watch live from the networks;
  • by asking for a specific team such as “Clemson Football” quickly access a team summary, including its current record and conference standing, and see a list of upcoming games airing across any network;
  • while watching the networks’ live online coverage on X1, follow along with real-time updates and data via the platform’s sports companion app for more than a dozen conferences such as the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference, American Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA; and
  • by saying, for example, “University of Connecticut Huskies Basketball Score,” get real-time scoring updates of the current game and the ability to tune-in live if it’s available to stream;

ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network + are available on all eligible X1 set top boxes with Xfinity TV and Internet service.