There’s a new sheriff coming to town in the 24-hour sports network business, and Fox Sports is taking quite a swing to get it off the ground. Fox Sports 1 is being positioned to make an immediate impact in all areas of sports broadcasting, as well as taking the fan experience in brand new direction as well.
As a part of the nationwide launch, the network as literally taken to the streets all across the country, and in an impressive style. The Fox Sports Girls from across the entire country have come together to promote the new network, via a 45-foot long, 56 passenger bus, and are leaving no stone untouched along the way.
To properly spread the word, they are taking a cross-country, 3,800 mile, 13-day express bus trip, from San Diego to Boston, where they will ring in the August 17th network launch at the upcoming UFC fight night, as well as a New England Patriots preseason NFL game. With stops all along the Fox Sports network, including cities such as Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Detroit and Cincinnati, the Girls are an impressive welcoming party for getting the word out on Fox Sports 1, which will launch in place of the Speed Network on most St. Louis-area cable plans. As they have gone across the country, they have picked up both momentum, and more of the Girls, along the way.
And while the Girls themselves are the main attraction along the trip, they are far from the only scene-stealers on the site. That honor would go to Cleatus, the long-time face of Fox Sports who has come off the screen and is very lifelike now. Standing at 6’9 and complete interactive, the network’s mascot is a sight to behold and is “muscle” for both the Girls and the network alike.
In all, 21 Fox Sports Girls will be represented by the time the tour hits Boston this weekend. Along the way, they have had variety of different experiences, with variety including a recent stop in St. Louis to take in a Cardinals/Cubs game, followed immediately by a shift to Kentucky, where they spread some cheer with the troops at Fort Campbell Military Base, as well as got down and dirty with a little basic training as well. “They are going to put us through PT and kick our butts a little bit”, says Teryn, who represents locally for Fox Sports Midwest.
Spirits are high for the activities; however they are far from just a bunch of pretty faces. In just a few minutes with them, you can find that these are real sports fans. Teryn was plenty excited to discuss Allen Craig’s season for the Cardinals, while ribs were exchanged over the Astros and Angels between American League West rivals in Asha and Kaime of Fox Sports West and Southwest, respectively. The stop in St. Louis was a first for many of fan ambassadors, and the excitement in the air for the Cardinals/Cubs matchup was not lost on them. “I’ve heard about all of the great fans here, and there’s nothing like seeing this rivalry up close”, says Kaime.
Yet don’t be fooled by the looks and sports talk either, they are also well versed in what is to come from the new network, and why fans should get excited about what’s coming to them soon. “‘Fans First’ is the big theme behind it all”, stresses Kaime. “We are the fans connections to our individual networks, so it’s great to get out and see the fans because sports wouldn’t be the same without them.” And by the indications of the network, fan familiarity will happen quickly.
Along with a 24-hour sports slate, there will be original programming such as Fox Sports Live, that is set to feature analysis from Donovan McNabb, Gary Payton and Andy Roddick among others, as well as personalities such as Erin Andrews. Long-time television staple Regis Philbin will be featured as well on “The Crowd Goes Wild”, a program that will blend his unique combination of first-hand experience and knowledge.
Fox Sports 1 is showing a promising package out of the gate, and what is being promised both immediately and in the future proves this is only the beginning. “From the start, there will be live sports as well. We will have college football and basketball, MLB, soccar and Nextel Cup racing”, Jordana of Fox Sports Florida explained. “And we will have the US Open (PGA) in 2015, so that’s something to look forward to.”
And as for the girls, the trip, while sometimes grueling, has been an exhilarating mix of work, travel and friends. “With the group of girls we are lucky enough to have, it’s made everything we do so much easier”, explains Asha. “We’ve gotten to see so many things, and bringing the network directly to the fans has been great.”
Fox Sports 1 launches this Saturday, August 17th. Check local listings for availability.
You can find more about Fox Sports 1 at FoxSports.com. To follow the rest of the bust tour, follow Fox Sports Girls on Twitter at @FoxSportsGirls and on Facebook at Fox Sports Girls. Locally, Kayla and Teryn of Fox Sports Midwest can be found on Twitter at @FSMidwestGirls and Facebook at Fox Sports Midwest Girls.