USA Ultimate and ESPN Announce Multi-Year Agreement

Posted: March 19, 2013 09:42 AM

College Championships, Inaugural Triple Crown Tour Part of Future Programming

Boulder, Colo. (March 19, 2013)—USA Ultimate, the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States, and ESPN announced today a multi-year agreement to carry the sport’s major properties – the College Championships and inaugural Triple Crown Tour, including the U.S. Open and the National Championships.

As part of the deal, ESPN will produce and distribute live coverage of the College Championships, U.S. Open and National Championships on ESPN3 and tape-delayed programs of the College Championships on ESPNU. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. The network is available in more than 83 million households nationwide to fans who receive their internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider.



"This is an exciting development for USA Ultimate," explained USA Ultimate Chief Executive Officer Tom Crawford. "The networks of ESPN represent the premier sports platform in the world, and aligning ourselves with the most powerful brand in sports puts ultimate in an extraordinary place. We are thrilled to collaborate with ESPN for the foreseeable future."

"The strategy we’ve discussed with ESPN will serve both the traditional television viewer as well as our young and tech-savvy membership base with multiple convenient and accessible viewing options," continued Crawford. "This approach allows us to achieve our goal of creating large-scale visibility for the sport, while satisfying the growing demand for live and on-demand content from both ultimate fans and sports fans in general. Together, ESPN and USA Ultimate have some interesting and dynamic production ideas, so we’re eager to showcase our athletic and entertaining sport."

The deal gives sports fans – including USA Ultimate’s 45,000 members and millions of ultimate players in the U.S. – unprecedented access to ultimate content. 

"Carrying the College Championships and inaugural Triple Crown Tour live on ESPN3 is a true testament to our goal of serving fans," said Todd Myers, ESPN director, programming & acquisitions. "Delivering these events across platforms to more than 83 million households nationwide is great exposure for a sport that showcases the highest level of competition in ultimate sports."

The 2013 USA Ultimate College Championships will take place in Madison, Wis., May 24-27 where 40 teams will compete for a national title. Each year, more than 700 college teams from across North America compete in USA Ultimate’s regular season structure to qualify for the national championship tournament.

The Triple Crown Tour represents the highest level of competitive ultimate in the world and consists of two major championship events and a regular season. ESPN’s coverage of the Triple Crown Tour will begin with the U.S. Open and conclude with the USA Ultimate National Championships.

Scheduled this year for July 4-7 in Raleigh, N.C., the U.S. Open is the world’s premier international ultimate tournament and features 24 of the best teams from around the globe. The U.S. Open signifies the beginning of the season-long Triple Crown Tour for elite teams and athletes from across the U.S.

The National Championships is the finale of the Triple Crown Tour and hosts 48 teams from around North America as they compete for one of the most prestigious titles in ultimate. This year’s edition will take place in Frisco, Texas, Oct. 17-20.


About USA Ultimate
USA Ultimate serves as the national governing body for the sport of ultimate in the United States. USA Ultimate is a non-profit organization headquartered in Boulder, Colo., and focuses foremost on the needs of its athletes while improving access to the sport and enhancing members’ overall experience. Founded in 1979 as the Ultimate Players Association, USA Ultimate is one of the first flying disc sport organizations in the world and is also the largest with more than 45,000 members. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) recently named ultimate the fastest-growing team sport in the nation. Internationally, USA Ultimate is a member of the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF), which is an affiliate of the General Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) and the International World Games Association (IWGA). USA Ultimate annually fields U.S. National Teams to compete at international events, including the World Games, which operates under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


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