Companies and groups are trying to get their respective messages to President Obama in a new way: airtime on ESPN.
Media strategists tell POLITICO they offer up the all-sports network as an option to clients who want to get their issues in front of Obama and top White House officials, known as big sports fans and rabid ESPN watchers.
And ESPN is pretty much the only thing Obama does watch.
From an interview Obama gave in 2012: “I don’t watch network news or cable news. In the morning, when I’m working out with Michelle, it’s on SportsCenter. It’s the one thing she allows me to control…”
Michael Lewis, in his Vanity Fair profile on Obama: “One of his aides told me once, thinking the president otherwise occupied, he’d made the mistake of switching the Air Force One television from ESPN, which Obama prefers, to a cable news show. The president walked into the room and watched a talking head explain knowingly why Obama had taken some action. ‘Oh so that’s why I did it,’ said Obama and walked out.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, when asked if Obama had watched any of the 2012 Republican National Committee: “When the TV is on and the president is in the room, it’s usually ESPN.”