Deerfield, Ill. (March 19, 2010) – Jim Beam® Bourbon, the world’s number one selling Bourbon, is proud to announce an innovative venture with ESPN to launch The Next Round – Served Up By Jim Beam, a Web series hosted by ESPN personality and award-winning journalist Scoop Jackson and featuring famous guests discussing the news with a focus on sports and pop culture.
The Next Round, which launches Saturday, April 3, during the first commercial break of the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter as well as on ESPN.com, will provide sports fans with a seat at the most exciting table in town. Each episode will feature Jackson and a range of guests – actors, athletes, media personalities and comedians – discussing the relevant topics of the moment. Known for his strong opinions and edgy perspective, Jackson has covered sports and culture for more than 15 years.
“This far-reaching media integration is a first of its kind for Jim Beam,” said Kelly Doss, senior director Bourbons, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. “We like to create legendary experiences for guys, and we know that they bond over Jim Beam cocktails and sports – a perfect combination. By seamlessly integrating the Jim Beam brand with ESPN’s many properties, including their network, Web site, magazine and radio outlet, we’ll truly be able to play where our guys play. We’re excited to get this venture underway.”
New content will air every two weeks on ESPN.com, and portions of the show will air during the 11 p.m. SportsCenter on ESPN. Segments will be recorded in Los Angeles at a custom-built ESPN/Jim Beam studio and at six remote locations that will include cities hosting major sporting events throughout the year. The Web series premiere will be shot at a bar in Boston to coincide with baseball’s opening day. Additional shoot locations will be announced at a later date.
“We think The Next Round will resonate with our audience and create the kind of social currency that will elevate Jim Beam’s brand in the minds of their target consumers, while providing valuable content to our fans,” said Ed Erhardt, President, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales. “These kinds of innovative programs play to our strengths and allow us to strategically program across screens so our advertisers can reach their target audience in a meaningful way.”
The Next Round will be featured across several ESPN properties and will have its own custom page on ESPN.com, which will house clips of the show, shoot summaries, video podcasts, pictures and links and will act as the hub for fan social media interaction. Once per month, The Next Round segments will be featured on ESPN Radio. Additionally, ESPN The Magazine will feature The Next Round six times throughout the course of the program.
To drive viewership of the Web series, Jim Beam and ESPN are implementing a robust retail program with co-branded point-of-sale materials.
ABOUT BEAM INC.:
Beam is one of the world’s largest premium spirits companies, encompassing a portfolio of nearly 100 brands (including 10 of the world’s top-100 premium spirits brands), more than a dozen global operating and commercial facilities and 3,200 employees worldwide. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Teacher's® Scotch Whisky, Maker's Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Cruzan® Rum, Hornitos ™ Tequila, EFFEN® Vodka, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, DeKuyper® Cordials, Knob Creek® Bourbon and Skinnygirl® Cocktails. Growth through innovation is a key strategy at Beam Global, with Red Stag by Jim Beam® Bourbon, Cruzan® 9 Spiced Rum, Maker’s 46™ Bourbon and Courvoisier® 12 Cognac and Courvoisier® 21 Cognac all being launched as new products over the past two years. Beam is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company.