For seven days in late July, film crews, copywriters and media executives descended on Tangier Island with the sole purpose of turning the small island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay into the center of the sports world.
Richmond-based ad shop The Martin Agency brought the crews in to shoot commercials for ESPN’s online live sports programming website ESPN3.com.
But the big winner of the production was Tangier Island and its 500 residents.
"I believe [the ads] are going to bring us a lot of revenue," said Renee Tyler, the town manager and an actress in one of the spots.
She’s confident the ads will create an awareness of the island and draw tourists.
The ads, which began airing Monday, tout Tangier Island as the biggest sports town in America . . . per capita. The spots show the island’s sites and locals talking about their favorite college football teams and the importance of sports.
Martin chose Tangier Island because it was so remote and got wired for high-speed Internet access last year, said Adam Stockton, art director on the campaign.
The ads are meant to show that no matter how isolated you are, you can view your favorite sports teams on ESPN3, he said.
A total of nine spots run on the ESPN3 family of networks, including Monday Night Football.
The campaign also features a YouTube channel, an ESPN Facebook page and banner ads on several popular websites including SportingNews.com.
Little Tangier reaps big rewards from ESPN | Richmond Times-Dispatch