SportsCenter, a daily sports news television program serving as the flagship program of ESPN, used to be the go-to resource for sports scores and information about games. With the rise of digital and the evolution of real-time reporting, consumers now had access to all their sports information needs in real time. Sterling was brought in to reposition the brand for growth while sustaining their passionate following and provide clear guidance for future program production.


We identified audience perceptions that were obstructing growth, uncovering a key differentiator to the Sports Center platform was the human storytelling elements that consumers looked for expressed by the personalities on the show. There was also a misperception that Sports Center ran re-runs continuously, when in fact they hosted over 18 hours of live programming everyday. We also provided specific tactical recommendations to lower barriers. Today, the show emphasizes storytelling and commentary such as “love from Sports Center,” with sets that visually change from broadcast to broadcast.