Marvel Produces Special Comic Covers to Hype ESPN College Playoffs

ESPN IN Captain America - P 2014
<p>ESPN IN Captain America - P 2014</p>   |   Marvel Entertainment
Eight titles will cross-promote the Disney brands in January

The relationship between Disney siblings ESPN and Marvel Entertainment gets a little closer this January, with the comic book publisher announcing eight special covers advertising the sports network’s first College Football Playoff to appear at the start of the month.

The covers — officially described by Marvel as “College Football Playoff on ESPN ‘IN’ variants” — will tie in with campaigns from schools to participate in the event. “Which teams will make the playoff? Ultimately, a twelve-person selection committee will decide. But until then, there will be lots of campaigning from the schools and teams still in the hunt,” a release from the publisher explains, “and some of your favorite Marvel characters and titles are creating campaign posters of their own!”

Each of the covers features the lead of the series against a blank background, with the word “IN” appearing in the top left of the page. The title of the series appears on the bottom of the page, above the date and time of the first Playoff game. Logos for Marvel, ESPN and the National Championship also appear.

Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso called the covers “a salute to our sister company ESPN,” while the company’s SVP of sales and marketing David Gabriel described the cross-promotion as “partnering with ESPN like never before.” Previous collaborations between the companies have included the re-imagining of NBA stars as Marvel superheroes and a LeBron James comic book.

The covers will appear on special editions of the following titles available only in comic book stores: All-New Captain America No. 3, Amazing Spider-Man No. 12, Ant-Man No. 1, Avengers No. 40, Hawkeye vs. Deadpool No. 4, Hulk No. 10, Legendary Star-Lord No. 7 and The Punisher No. 12. All issues will be released Jan. 7.

Read more ESPN's Kenny Mayne Stars in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' TV Spots (Video)