ESPN Hires BallerVisions CEO Marcel Chappell, Integrates Social Channels Into Network

ESPN has hired BallerVisions founder Marcel (Celly) Chappell and the acquisition of BallerVisions’ social channels to expand its social and digital presence in the high school landscape. ESPN will take ownership of BallerVisions’ YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts and Chappell will join ESPN’s social team as a producer based in California.

“A dedicated high school space on social media platforms will create an authentic touch point for younger fans, driving deeper engagement and building relationships with up-and-coming star athletes,” says Kaitee Daley, ESPN’s vice president of social media. “Combining the resources, strategy and scale of ESPN with expertise like Celly’s in social community building positions us incredibly well to serve the next generation of sports fans in new and innovative ways.”

Chappell founded BallerVisions in 2012 to help a friend and high school athlete create a highlight reel to increase college interest. Since then, the brand’s YouTube channel has grown to house more than 1,200 videos and garnered more than 65 million views since 2018.

“I’m excited to see the impact we can have in the high school scene with the power of ESPN behind me and can’t wait to get started,” says Chappell.

ESPN social leads the sports category in reach and engagement. ESPN’s YouTube network boasts over 2 billion views in 2021 with over 14.5 million subscribers, and ESPN’s family of social media accounts have amassed 319M total followers and 3.1B social engagements across Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook so far in 2021.

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