Disney’s Wide World of Sports has been named as such since March of 1997, but soon it will be going through a name change. Wanting to capitalize on the “world’s most powerful Sports brand”, the park is going to be renamed ESPN’s Wide World of Sports within the next few months. Via the Orlando Sentinel….
Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports complex will be renamed the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, signaling the Walt Disney Co.’s desire to capitalize on both brands at its giant Central Florida resort.
Ken Potrock, Disney World senior vice president for the sports complex, announced the name change this morning as he outlined the complex’s current and expanding role as a generator of tourism and convention business in Central Florida.
With plans for a new bowling center, the new Jostens Center that just opened, and the ESPN rebranding, Potrock said he expects far more visitors. He also said the company would take more advantage of the worldwide popularity of ESPN among sports enthusiasts.
“If you’re in the sports business and you happen to own the most powerful sports brand, why wouldn’t you leverage that?” he said. “The answer is, of course we will leverage that.”
Ever since taking over ESPN in 1996, Disney has been slowly shifting all of their Sports’ products to the ESPN brand (i.e.- ESPN on ABC). And while the move makes sense (ESPN really is the most popular Sports brand in the world), it still seems odd to me that ESPN will now be associated with the moniker that ABC Sports made famous. Especially if you think back to what Sports Television was, and what it’s become.
Disney’s name coming off its Wide World of Sports complex (Orlando Sentinel)