2008 ACC Tournament ESPN and Opera Steve

Posted: March 15, 2008 in marketing, sports
Tags: , ,

This is my open letter to ESPN

To whom it may concern – I tuned in to your channel(s) to watch the ACC Tournament. I was shocked to witness what I think is the most appalling, ludicrous, and idiotic marketing in the history of the world. This goes beyond the New Coke fiasco of the 1980s. It is even worse than any local furniture company commercials that buy TV time slots. I am talking about Opera Steve.

As this atrocity is so vile and heinous, I am unable to find the right words to truly label this event. Somewhere in your marketing department, a series of paid employees green lighted Operation: Opera Steve. I have a few thoughts I’d like to express to you. Please take this as constructive criticism. Your offering is currently better than Fox Sports, but that’s not really saying much.1. If it takes someone searching the internet (no not  googling) to figure out who is making these shrieks that are on par with the sounds of the alien in Aliens, this may not be the best idea.2. Just because said “musical talent” has a MySpace page, does not in fact make them cool or accepting with your younger audience.3. Dressing up this “talent” in a basketball jersey and repeating the names of the teams playing in a microphone does not make it hip.4. Rap, Opera, and college sports do not mix. Ever. Period.5. “Opera Steve” is neither a talent nor a fad. You have to be good to be either. In summary, I will say that the commentators and production quality of the game far outweighs what the regional  viewers are forced to watch (Yes RayComm, you suck). However, the fact that I am unable to keep food down after commercial breaks does not make me enjoy your product. In the future, may I suggest sticking with current or past game highlights,  or avoiding all marketing outside of the fly-in ACC Tournament logo. Thanks,ThomasPS – please get rid of ESPN Insider. Paying for content is a joke, and your site is littered with enough advertising that you shouldn’t need this extra income.

  1. Martina says:

    Personally I think it’s hysterical. Rediculous? Yes. Completely random? Yes. But why not? It’s all in jest.

  2. Angry says:

    You are entitled to your opinions concerning the marketing strategies employed during the ACC tournament–you may not think that opera/rap should be mixed with sports, which may be a valid point. You have no basis, however, to suggest that Opera Steve is not a talented musician. He happens to be an incredibly gifted classical musician and a successful rap artist.

  3. Max says:

    You need to chill out. He’s just a talented guy looking for a way to break into the industry. Don’t make it harder for him. Nobody is telling you that your blog is the most appalling, ludicrous, and idiotic blog in the history of the world, so just lay off.

  4. Brad says:

    I have to completely disagree with you!

    I thought that the intro segments added an interesting mix of class and popular culture to the tournament! And most people, I believe, would recognize that the guy has an amazing voice.

    I, for one, loved the intro segments. In fact I’ve been hopeful that Opera Steve will be part of the event in the future.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. And I, for one, am of the opinion that you missed the mark on this one.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    F*** Opera Steve! I laughed at how unnecessary he was. He repeated himself and had nothing to sing about and at one time he talked about freedom…WTF?

  6. Thomas Shaffer says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I stick by my assessment that this was a horrible idea and brought nothing but a constant and steady pulse of irritation and pain similiar to that of electric shock treatment. The only difference being that when it was over I wasn’t better.

  7. Zach R says:

    Opera Steve and basketball do not mix. I am thankful I do not have to hear him sing “Clemson Tigers” one more time.

  8. Harrison says:

    What Opera Steve had to sing is not at all in his control, but instead a choice of ESPN. I understand if you find the advertisement silly, but there is no way that you can say Opera Steve is not a talented musician. Have you seen him perform? Have you been in a room with him while he is singing? No. I know him personally and have performed with him and can tell you he is an incredibly talented singer. Trash ESPN, but not Opera Steve.

    Also, he is probably the nicest person I have ever met.

  9. Thomas Shaffer says:


    I did look up Steve and listened to his tracks on myspace, and in my opinion he is not talented. Being a nice guy doesn’t make you better at your job, unless you are a Wal-Mart greeter or work at DisneyWorld.

    Maybe next time Steve decides to sell his soul to Corporate America, he’ll think twice. He made the choice to work with ESPN, so please don’t make excuses for him.

  10. Ricky says:

    Opera steve is one of the best voical artists I have ever heard his talent in the field of opera is GREAT!!!! God bless that guy he gonna make it to the top soon!! And why talk crap about him can you sing are you a producer or are you a voical coach no and did ESPN call you to do the 2008 ACC Tournament NO why cause they called OPERA STEVE and why cause he’s talented

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