ESPN announced today that it is partnering with a Wharton School initiative to find solutions to the growing list of challenges presented by digital media. (Below, the Wharton campus.)
The Wharton group, which is called the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, is made of an ever-evolving group of faculty and outside executives from various companies. Their goal is to try and think through "data-driven" problems from a managerial perspective, and they do it by hosting panel discussions and events. Thanks to its new agreement, ESPN will now have access to the WIMI outside those events for three years.
The ESPN-Wharton deal will also involve students, who will be asked to develop statistical models based on ESPN's actual data. The goal: to understand the "convergant usage" of TV and Internet, and to help ESPN divvy up its energy between TV, radio, Web, and mobile platforms in a sensible way.