ESPN and Fatherhood Involvement

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC), an estimated 25 million children live without their biological fathers and are on average at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive )parents. Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely todo well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-socialbehavior and avoid high risk behaviors.

In an effort to raise awareness on this issue and reach dads where they are, the Ad Council and the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse(NRFC) embarked on a partnership with ESPN to develop a new series of PSAs designed to show dads the critical role they play in their children’s lives. 

New PSAs were developed  to emphasize to fathers that “the best highlights happen at home” and were created pro bono for the Ad Council by ESPN and Wieden &Kennedy. The messages feature ESPN anchors Trey Wingo (NFL Live) and Robert Flores (Sports Center) as well as David Faitelson and Fernando Palomo of ESPN Desportes for the Spanish language creative. The spots encourage fathers to visit for parenting tips and additional resources for fathers. 

The partnership resulted in upwards of $3MM in donated media support across ESPN properties. 

“ESPN’s ability to reach millions of fathers allows for swift and high-impact advertising communications for this important cause.Our collaboration with the Ad Council has yielded a uniquely ESPN-branded PSA that we hope inspires dads to engage with their children in creating everyday highlights.” - Seth Ader, ESPN senior director sports marketing. 

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