Bristol, CT and Chicago, IL, March 21, 2006, Tapping into the passion fans have for sports -- wherever they are or may want to go -- ESPN.com and Orbitz, the faster, easier way to find the trip you want, today launched "ESPN Sports Travel Powered by Orbitz." The new site is a collaborative sub-section of ESPN.com aimed at providing sports fans with the ultimate online, sports-focused travel resource.
"Sports and travel are both key aspects to the lives of the millions of monthly ESPN.com users," said John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN New Media. "Whether traveling on business and looking for a great spot to catch the game, or planning a quixotic tour of North America's ballparks, ESPN and Orbitz are giving fans the resources they might need."
Randy Wagner, chief marketing officer at Orbitz said, "Orbitz' agreement with ESPN.com is a slam dunk for sports fans who want to literally follow their favorite teams. Fans booking on ESPN SportsTravel benefit from the VIP treatment of OrbitzTLC, designed to anticipate the needs of a sports fan on-the-go, from searching to booking to ensuring travelers make it to the big game."
ESPN Sports Travel online will offer sports travel planning information and tools for more than 50 major North American cities (16 at launch with others following in the coming weeks). The site will provide users with the ability to book hotels, vacation packages, flights and destination services on Orbitz.com. Planned content for ESPN Sports Travel powered by Orbitz includes:
- Features: Travel articles about major sports towns, events and experiences from ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and contributing writers;
- The Sports Fans' Guide: Editorial on cities, including in-town tips, sports bar and restaurant reviews, addresses and maps, general recommendations, average daily weather and more;
- The "Power Weekend" Profiles: Ideas for perfect sports getaways;
- The "Hot List": Briefs on the top spots in the best sports towns in America;
- Calendars: Complete calendar of the biggest sporting events, and travel guides for attending them;
- Sports Schedules: Full schedules for all teams in more than 30 professional, collegiate and amateur sports leagues and conferences;
- E-Cards: The ability to send picture postcards from sporting events around the globe;
- Polls and Message Boards: The perfect venue for fans to share opinions and travel tips from featured cities.
- Directory: Addresses, maps and contact information for more than 200 North American venues (50 venues at launch with others following in coming weeks);
- Other editorial content from ESPN.com content providers, such as Golf Digest course reviews and golf features, a Jayski.com NASCAR travel guide and more!
Orbitz (www.Orbitz.com) is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website www.Orbitz.com to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 16 car rental companies. J.D. Power and Associates noted that Orbitz.com had the highest customer satisfaction for independent travel web sites - hotels in its 2005 Independent Hotel Web Site StudySM. Study based on responses from 3,668 consumers who booked their hotel reservations through an independent travel Web site. www.jdpower.com. Orbitz was acquired by Cendant's Travel Distribution Services division in November 2004 and is part of the Consumer Travel Americas group. Sign up for RSS Feeds on Orbitz by visiting http://rss.orbitz.com.
ESPN.com, a division of ESPN Inc., is the leading provider of sports on the Internet. ESPN.com, which is also home to ESPNdeportes.com, ESPNradio.com and ESPNsoccernet.com, also works in conjunction with the Walt Disney Internet Group.
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks, two high-definition simulcast services (ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD), ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360 (broadband), Mobile ESPN, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN Pay Per View. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
Paul Melvin, ESPN.com
860.766.9581 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Lazar, ESPN and ABC Sports Sales
212.456.0226 or email@example.com
Jeanenne Diefendorf, Orbitz
312.894.4986 or firstname.lastname@example.org