Sega, ESPN teaming on vidgames

Visual Concepts to create games with cabler's talent

Vidgame publisher Sega will overhaul its well-regarded sports titles under a deal with ESPN that puts the Disney cable network’s brand on all its sports offerings.

The deal also calls for Steven Raab, senior VP of marketing for developer Visual Concepts Entertainment, to oversee marketing and work closely with ESPN to exploit the partnership. Raab, former senior VP of sports marketing and programming at Turner Broadcasting, will oversee a major marketing push, set to begin in August.

Visual Concepts is Sega’s sports-game developer, responsible the past few years for its “2K” sports titles.

Under the new deal, Sega will rebrand its games for pro football, basketball, hockey and baseball and college basketball with the ESPN name. ESPN commentators — including Chris Berman, Gary Thorne and Bill Clement — will provide voiceovers during games and breaks, when Berman will provide faux SportsCenter reports. The games also will use ESPN music, camera angles and graphic elements to look more like actual broadcasts.