They were commercials that seemed to appear on TV during every sporting event in 2007. In one, a sports reporter interviews a tuxedoed Mike Joiner, who is identified as the “MVP of today’s Baxter-Donahue wedding.” Joiner rattles off sports clichés about it being a “team effort,” and a replay of him at the altar as best man is shown while he watches a gamecast of the “Chicago-St. Louis” game on his cell phone.
In another, a woman identified as Sarah Fiske is interviewed in front of a house after being named “MVP of the Anderson baby shower.” The reporter asks, “What was the toughest part for you, Sarah?” She responds, “You know, like I said, pretending that I actually wanted to be here. But I was able to stay focused and watch highlights from a bunch of college hoops games.” A replay is shown of Sarah at a hopelessly boring ladies event while she’s watching highlights of college basketball on her Verizon V CAST mobile device complete with ESPN MVP. Then, in a moment of hilarity, her angry sister Nancy tries to drive away without giving Sarah a ride home.
Other Verizon V CAST commercials that would appear throughout the year featured a man on his honeymoon, colleagues at an excruciating work-related conference, and even a man with two paramedics in an ambulance. The point of these ads is fairly clear: they demonstrate that, thanks to sports-related content, even the least-desirable situations can be ameliorated. All preconceived notions of time and place are thrown out the window, as one can be close to sports virtually anywhere and anytime. Fans everywhere are now capable of watching gamecasts, updating their fantasy sports team roster, or viewing highlights courtesy of emerging mobile technology.
For ESPN, the new service provided a dramatic change in strategy after some early forays into mobile technology went awry. For Verizon, a partnership with