ESPN Partnership with Furman and Southern Conference Adds Furman to National Conversation
The agreements will help expand the scope and scale of Furman sports coverage as Furman is now the flagship sports program for ESPN Upstate.
At a time where fan engagement may be low because of COVID-19, this announcement provides hope and excitement for Furman Paladin fans and families alike.
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Furman University, along with the Southern Conference (SoCon), has recently signed groundbreaking deals with ESPN that will increase exposure for the university’s basketball and football programs. The agreements establish Furman as the flagship sports program for ESPN Upstate, the top-rated sports talk show station in the Greenville-Spartanburg area. With the help of ESPN Upstate, the scope and scale of Furman sports coverage is now greatly expanded as fans all throughout the Upstate can now tune in to games from a variety of stations.
As part of the deal, Furman games will air on the major sports stations throughout the Greenville-Spartanburg region. The aired games will also feature play-by-play coverage and additional talk show content throughout the week, including interviews with Furman coaches and players. Both sides are happy with the agreement, Furman Athletic Director Jason Donnelly calling Furman’s participation an “important strategic partnership as Greenville’s college athletics team.” Senior VP and Market Manager for Entercom Steve Sinicropi says, “This partnership is a big win for us, Furman University, our advertisers and, most importantly, our listeners.”
As a result of the deal, Furman Football and Furman Basketball broadcasts will now be available over ESPN Upstate's four main stations: 97.7 FM/1330 AM in Greenville and 97.1 FM/950 AM in Spartanburg. Broadcasts can also be accessed via RADIO.COM, “the fastest growing digital audio app in the U.S.,” as well as through FurmanPaladins.com and Tune-In.
While Furman was signing the deal with ESPN, the SoCon was also penning a deal of its own. The freshly inked agreement will put the SoCon basketball semifinals and championship on National Television. This deal, which extends the SoCon’s agreement with ESPN through 2026, indicates that more games will stream on major ESPN channels in addition to more televised events available on ESPN3 or ESPN+. As a result, the agreement will increase SoCon exposure and allow for approximately 4,200 SoCon events to be on ESPN networks.
These two moves, announced a day apart, show the growing popularity of both Furman and SoCon sports. The partnership with ESPN will increase that fanbase and popularity as programs gain publicity through national and regional coverage of games along with the featured interviews. The widened coverage can propel the cycle of growth to the point where Furman may see increased publicity, better talent recruited to our teams, and an increase in national awareness of Greenville and SoCon sports.
All in all, both agreements are big steps in expanding the Furman athletics program and establishing prominence throughout South Carolina and across the nation. At a time where fan engagement may be low because of COVID-19, this announcement provides hope and excitement for Furman Paladin fans and families alike.