2022 Disney

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For its 2022 upfront, The Walt Disney Co. is leaving the Upper West Side for the Lower East Side.

This year, Disney will hold an in-person upfront presentation at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York’s Lower East Side, according to a memo sent by ad sales and partnerships chief Rita Ferro to the company’s clients Tuesday. Ferro told clients that the new May 17 event would be “unlike anything you’ve ever seen from Disney.”

It will be the first in-person upfront event since the novel coronavirus pandemic disrupted the world in March 2020 and the first time in decades that the company will be leaving its longtime home of Lincoln Center. The David Geffen Theater, which Disney has long used for its upfronts, is undergoing renovations.

Disney will also use its upfront to showcase the entire company’s suite of content, including network, cable and streaming. The 2022 upfronts are being used as a test case by the major entertainment companies, with some, like Disney and Fox, leaving their longtime upfront homes and combining their assets into one pitch.

Fox will host its 2022 event in Battery Park City and include Tubi, Fox News and Fox Sports in its pitch to marketers.

Meanwhile, ViacomCBS will, for the first time, host a single event for all of its assets but hold it at CBS’ longtime upfront home of Carnegie Hall. NBCUniversal will return to its longtime home of Radio City Music Hall, with The CW returning to the New York City Center Theater.

Like ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal and Fox, Disney is also planning multiple events leading up to the May upfront. In Disney’s case, that will include a tech and data showcase on March 3, a sports summit on April 6, and a storytellers showcase on April 26.

You can read Rita Ferro’s email to clients below.

Partners,

2022 is off to a roaring start, and we’re feeling incredibly optimistic.

Disney Advertising is just 3 weeks away from our Tech and Data Week, culminating with our previously announced second annual Tech & Data Showcase on Thursday, March 3. 

Our approach has always been show and prove – our ability to drive results for clients by embracing technology, data, and creativity demonstrate the power of our portfolio at every turn. Within the coming months and years, the investments in our proprietary audience graph, audience targeting solutions, viewer-first experiences, cross-platform planning, optimization, and measurement will continue to transform our business, as well as yours. The team and I can’t wait to detail the progress on the technology and data strategy we formally rolled out last year, and of course unveil some exciting new announcements as well. See you March 3rd at 2pmET.

We sit in a very unique place in our industry and one thing is clear; Disney is unrivaled. We’re unrivaled in the way we do business with our partners. We know that results matter to your business – our performance and effectiveness metrics speak for themselves. To better serve you, our clients, we are committed to powering an always-on approach through consultative, audience-first solutions differentiated by deep data insights and best-in-class technology. That, combined with our unrivaled studio and entertainment content, storytelling, live and sports rights across our leading content and video destinations, are unmatched. This is our commitment 365 days a year, not only during Upfront season. That’s what our consumers expect.

As industry leaders, we use our unique position in the global media ecosystem to make the industry more inclusive and representative, and we recognize that this work is never complete. We prioritize Diversity, Equity and Inclusion because it’s a business imperative and key to innovation, creativity and more representative storytelling. Many of you have been working alongside us in this journey over the last two years, and we’re excited to share more about our work together in the coming months.

Disney has a century’s worth of experience bringing bold storytelling to audiences around the world. We’re taking the same spirit of creativity and innovation that has defined The Walt Disney Company for nearly 100 years, and applying it to technology to build the most advanced, data-informed ad portfolio ever created. We’ve amassed the largest and most impactful consumer base across all platforms. On April 6, you’ll see our continued commitments to the best sports rights when we host our Annual Sports Summit; and investments in original programming that fuel our partnerships with our advertising community at our intimate Storytellers Showcase on April 26.

On Tuesday, May 17 we’ll transform Basketball City, Pier 36, to deliver an Upfront event unlike anything you’ve ever seen from Disney. Be prepared for more unrivaled content and an incomparable experience in an entirely new venue!

We are poised for a terrific year with your partnership. Thank you for meeting this moment with excitement, imagination, and dedication. There’s much more to come.

Warmest Regards,

Rita