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Public API Retirement

Dear ESPN API Developers,

Since the launch of the ESPN Developer Center in March 2012 the capabilities and direction of our API program have continued to evolve in order to serve sports fans in the best way possible.

As part of that evolution, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue our public APIs, which will enable us to better align engineering resources with the growing demand to develop core ESPN products on our API platform.

Effective today, we will no longer be issuing public API keys. Developers utilizing the ESPN API with a public API key may continue to do so until Monday, December 8, 2014, at which point the keys will no longer be active.

We want to thank all of you for supporting the ESPN API, and we hope you found value interacting with the service over the past two years.

The ESPN API Team

Using The ESPN API At Baseball Hack Day

For those attending the Baseball Hack Day in Boston this weekend, here are some useful tips on getting MLB data from the ESPN API.  Note that some of these examples require partner level access to the ESPN API, which is available for attendees of Baseball Hack Day.

The Basics

To access MLB data use the base resource path for each of the ESPN APIs:

http://api.espn.com/v1/sports/baseball/mlb

In most cases you will be requesting data for a specific team or player, in which case you will need the id corresponding to that team or player.  To get the id you need use the following helper calls:

v1/sports/baseball/mlb/teams - will return a list of MLB teams, including the id, logos, records and additional links for each team.

v1/sports/baseball/mlb/athletes/teams/2 - here we pass the team id for the Boston Red Sox to get a list of all players for that team, including their ids, positions, headshots and links to additionals resources.

ESPN Athletes API

You can use the Athletes API to get rosters of players, as well as biographical and statistical data for individual athletes.   Using the helper call above we can determine that the id for "Big Papi" (David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox) is 3748. 

/athletes/3748?enable=statistics&dates=2012 - returns last season stats for Big Papi.

/athletes/3748?enable=statistics&statstype=career - returns season-by-season career stats for Big Papi.

ESPN Teams API

You can use the Teams API to get information, including roster, stats, and more, for individual teams. You can also fetch teams by conference or division.  Using the helper call above we can determine that the id for the Boston Red Sox is 2. 

teams/2?enable=roster&dates=2012 - returns the 2012 record for the Boston Red Sox as well as roster information for that season.

ESPN Scores & Schedules API

You can use the Scores & Schedules API to get game/match information, including start times, venue, competitors, score, and stats across every major sport.

/events?dates=20130402 - returns upcoming MLB regular season games for April 2nd.

/events?dates=20120510 - returns MLB games from May 10th, 2012.

/events/320328111- returns play-by-play data for a specific game (event id 320328111).

ESPN Research Notes API

One of the most interesting APIs ESPN offers is the Research Notes API.  This API will allow you to tap into ESPN's vast knowledgebase of exclusive sports data tidbits compiled by our Stats and Information Group (a member of which will be at Baseball Hack Day). Research Notes are available by sport, athlete, team, and even game.

athletes/3748/news/notes - returns research notes for Big Papi.

teams/2/news/notes - returns research notes for the Boston Red Sox.

I hope this helps get you started using the ESPN API to build your app for Baseball Hack Day.   For additional questions I will be at Baseball Hack Day all day along with ESPN team members Karen Lee and Jeremy Lundblad.  You can also post questions here or to the @ESPNAPI handle.

Seattle Sports Hack Day Winners

The first Sports Hack Day was held during this past Super Bowl weekend at The Hub in Seattle's Pioneer Square.  It was my first sports themed hackathon and easily one of the best hackathons I've attended.  Congrats to Carter Rabasa from Twilio for putting on such a fun event.   Over 120 hackers attended Sports Hack Day, with over 20 teams demoing completed apps for judging.  

And for those that think hackathons are only for hardcore developers, I'd like to point out that about a dozen participants were different flavors of designers or PMs, and one team was made up entirely of non-developers.  That's the great thing about the tools and APIs being offered by companies today - you can prototype your app/poduct ideas with very little technical chops. 

The great thing about being ESPN's Developer Advocate is that I am basically Santa Claus for a day when I attend events.  I get to hand out cool swag for those hackers that have been good. ESPN sponsored the category "Best Social Data Hack For Sports Fans" at Sports Hack Day, and I was so impressed by the competing apps that I couldn't decide, and ended up picking two winners: LongHauler and SociableFM.

Sports Hack Day 2013

I'm surrounded by winners! Robert Eickmann (L) and Fredrick Thornton (R)

LongHauler was an app built by Robert Eickmann that utilized the Nike Fuel band.  Robert described his app as, "An Iphone app that takes your Nike Plus data and lets you compete against your friends in hiking long distances."  I loved Robert's app because it used location data, wearables and allowed users to compete with each other.  I thought he did a great job of leveraging cutting edge technology (wearables) and appealing to the competitive, social nature of sports fans.

SociableFM was a game built by Fredrick Thornton that utilized the Twilio API and Google App Engine.   Fredrick built a second screen game for the stadium - fans at a game text one of two phone numbers to move the ball to the opponents end zone.  Fredrick envisioned that this would be a great half time game, played by game attendees on the stadium screen.  

But wait there's more!  Sports Hack Day is coming back to Seattle this Fall, in time for the World Series!  There is also a Sports Hack Day being planned for Europe this year.  Follow @SportsHackDay to stay informed.

@SportsHackDay stickers!!

Come Hack and Build with us Super Bowl Weekend

Join ESPN, Mashery, Twilio, Google and a gathering of hackers this coming Super Bowl weekend at The Hub in downtown Seattle.  We’re going to hack on sports themed projects Saturday and then on Sunday we’ll share demos and have a group viewing of the Super Bowl.

Like any great hackathon, this event will include great food and prizes.  Food will include pizza from Pagliacci’s, sandwiches from Potbelly and treats from Cupcake Royale.  A few of the prizes are Jawbones (thanks to Mashery) and I will be awarding 1yr ESPN Insider memberships, XBOX sports games and Timbuk2 bags to a winning team.

ESPN Developer Center - Timbuk2 Backpacks

For more information and to register, check out the Sports Hack Day site.  The schedule is listed below.

Until then I will be busy building an augmented reality hack that allows everyone to watch the Seahawks play, and win, this coming Super Bowl.    Hope to see you there!

 

Friday

  • 5:30 – Doors open
  • 6:00 – Dinner and networking
  • 7:00 – Welcome and Keynote
  • 7:30 – Sponsor demos
  • 8:30 – Pitches and team formation

Saturday

  • 09:00 – Breakfast
  • 10:00 – Workshop #1
  • 11:00 – Workshop #2
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 4:30 – HALFTIME FUN!
  • 6:00 – Dinner

Sunday

  • 09:00 – Breakfast
  • 12:00 – Deadline to submit!
  • 12:30 – Demos (3 minutes)
  • 2:30 – Awards and prizes
  • 3:30 – SUPERBOWL

espnW Hack Day 2012 Wrapup

What happens when female technologists, some of the biggest names in tech, and sports come together at Stanford University? We found out this past weekend, and it was pretty inspiring and amazing.

Over 100+ developers and designers, API teams from ESPN, Facebook, Twitter, Twilio, YouTube, and Mashery, and many female athletes and mentors convened on the Stanford d.school to build sports apps for women and female sports fans in our first ever public Hackathon.

After an inspiring kickoff on Friday evening -- highlighted by an overview of espnW from Laura Gentile and Marly Ellis and remarks and Q&A from Mightybell founder Gina Bianchini -- hackers rolled up their sleeves Saturday morning to start building their hacks.

The iSports team (Divya Natesan, Pooja Gada, and Ditaya Das) won the ESPN Grand Prize for their athlete video & fact profile app that leverages facial recognition technology, collecting an all-expense paid trip to the ESPN HQ in Bristol, CT for a VIP, behind-the-scenes tour of the technology and culture behind the Worldwide Leader in Sports. The winners also each received 2 regular season tickets to an MLB, NBA, or NFL game of their choice, plus a Jawbone Big JAMBOX from Mashery for Best Mashery Hack, remixing data from ESPN and 2 other APIs in their network. Not bad for a Friday night and Saturday of coding!

Other winners included The Pack is Here (led by Margaret Morris), who won Nike Fuel Bands and Twilio Ad Credits for their use of the Twilio API, Number 1 Fan (Wayne Sutton, Melanie Mariotti, and Peter Ma), who collected a Twitter Schwag bag, Strength is Beautiful (Mercedes Coyle, Erin Parker, Meredith Prince, and Susan Tan), who wowed the YouTube team with a weight training video tool for women that featured female athletes, coaches, and trainers to take home a Samsung Galaxy Nexus tablet, and the Shared Stories from ESPN team (Zassmin Montes de Oca, Luke Byrne) that collected $1,000 in Facebook ad credits!

In total, there were 19 demonstrations on stage (16 of them using the ESPN API). In addition to the Grand Prize and Partner Prizes, the ESPN API team handed out ESPN Developer Center backpacks to every member of each team that used the ESPN API for their hack.

For those of you who missed the event, or if you just want to relive the fun, Wired wrote a a great piece that captured the excitement. You can also check out some photos and multimedia below:

We are so proud to have shared this event with such amazing developers and partners and hope to do another Hackathon in the future.

Stay inspired, stay coding, and stay sharp with your ESPN API skills. The winner of our 2nd Hackathon could be you!

The SportsCenter Feed is here

We are excited to discuss a new product launch for ESPN.com and mobile web that introduces a new way to access and read ESPN content: the SportsCenter Feed. We know that our fans are always looking for the fastest and easiest way to stay abreast of all the latest sports information and the new SC Feed was built to satiate those needs.

In this post we would like to take you behind some of the technical innovations in the product.

First and foremost, this is one of our first ESPN pillar products to make use of the ESPN API platform. We’ve long known that developing products on top of our own APIs will help us deliver more products to fans, innovate faster, and help bring ESPN experiences to more platforms and devices. We’re excited to put this into practice with our recent ScoreCenter app release, and now our new SportsCenter Feed product. Combined with a responsive web design, we are able to simultaneously create a web and mobile product that is consistent across platforms.

The application also takes advantage of social cues from Facebook and Twitter and ESPN data to help determine the popularity and relevancy of each piece of content. Consequently, fans are presented with content that is breaking, popular and relevant.

SportsCenter Feed is deeply integrated with our personalization service so that customization made on any platform will be instantly available via the application regardless of where it is accessed. The end result is a personalized experience available where and when you want it.

We’re excited about this launch and a number of other innovations we’re working on and look forward to showcasing them to you in the coming months.

Enjoy the new SportsCenter Feed and please provide feedback to our product team so that we can make it even better going forward.

Fantasy Football news is here, API style

It's that time of year again.

Where Saturdays, Sundays, and Monday nights are officially blocked off for hundreds of millions of people and blur into one endless period of touchdowns, cheering, and buffalo wings. That's right, it's football season, and if you're anything like us you've been spending time over the past week getting ready, including drafting your Fantasy Football team to bring home your league championship and bragging rights among your friends and family.

Today we're announcing support for Fantasy Sports, including Fantasy Football, in the Headlines API. Developers can tap into the latest news and analysis from ESPN's Fantasy experts including Matthew Berry, Eric Karabell, Tristan Cockcroft, Stephania Bell, and more. Getting the latest on who to start and sit each week, sleeper picks and pickups, weekly player rankings, and injury updates has never been easier.

To pull ESPN Fantasy content into your app, simply make a call like this:
http://api.espn.com/v1/fantasy/football/news?apikey=:yourkey

This update also includes support for Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Basketball, and Fantasy Hockey content.

A final reminder for you Fantasy Football players out there: don't forget to set your lineup today. The NFL season kicks off tonight with the New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys.

Celebrate international sports with soccer, Spanish-language support, and the Olympics

With the 2012 Summer Olympics in full swing in London, we're excited to announce some improvements to the ESPN API that will keep you in the "international sports" frame of mind.

First, we now support soccer across our Headlines, Teams, Athletes, Standings, and Scores APIs. As the world's game, it's not surprising that we've had a lot of inquiries asking us to support soccer. With this release, public developers will be able to tap into soccer news content at a global level, as well as per league. Basic team and athlete information is available to all public developers in line with our last major product release. For ESPN developers and strategic partners, standings and scores/schedules for all major soccer leagues are now available.

As any soccer fan knows, there are a TON of soccer leagues. Be sure to use a helper API call (i.e. http://api.espn.com/v1/sports/soccer?apikey=:yourkey) to get a list of valid soccer league abbreviations that can be used in various API calls.

In addition to supporting soccer, we now have Spanish-language support across our Headlines, Teams, Athletes, Standings, and Scores APIs by setting the accept-language HTTP header to "es" or using a "lang=es" parameter.

As an example, this API call will return the top Spanish sports stories on ESPNDeportes.com:
http://api.espn.com/v1/sports/news/headlines/top?lang=es&apikey=:yourkey

This will return top sports stories for Spanish-speaking fans in Mexico:
http://api.espn.com/v1/sports/news/headlines/top?lang=es&region=mx&apikey=:yourkey

This will return a list of athletes in the NBA, with links to their ESPNDeportes.com pages:
http://api.espn.com/v1/sports/basketball/nba/athletes?lang=es&apikey=:yourkey

Also note that links to Web and Mobile content that are returned in the API will point to the appropriate Spanish content location when that language is requested. Check out the documentation for each API for additional details on how to retrieve Spanish content.

Last but not least, ESPN developers and strategic partners are currently tapping into Olympics schedule, results, and medal count information through our new Medals API and improvements to our Scores API. Sports fans can see these APIs in action today by signing up for Olympics notifications with If This Then That (IFTTT), or by checking out ABCNews.com to see their ESPN-powered Olympics module.

As always we will continue to bring regular, incremental improvements to the ESPN API to serve developers across all of our access tiers. Check the ESPN Developer Center regularly for announcements.

Enjoy the rest of the Olympics!

What's an API without a blog?

Today we are excited to announce the beginning of what will be an ongoing relationship with you, the ESPN developer community. Going forward we will be making regular announcements regarding the ESPN API, including the availability of new content, feature enhancements, and bug fixes right here on developer.espn.com.

Since our launch on March 5th we’ve had the opportunity to meet with many app developers and businesses of all sizes, and by following Tweets, forums discussions, and other avenues of feedback, we’ve learned a great deal about what developers are hoping to get from the ESPN API and what our team should be focused on to best serve those interests.

While we know there’s work to be done, it’s been exciting to see some of the great innovations come from our developer community in just a couple short months and with a limited dataset. We’ve seen plugins for Wordpress (nice work davidpean) and Drupal (not bad, erikwebb) to tap into news content from our Headlines API. A handful of great SDKs have been created in popular languages like PHP (by madcaplaughs), Ruby (rondale_sc), Grails (Nick Hagen), and Python (Chad Masso). We’ve seen some excellent tutorials for creating products with the ESPN API (awesome job f-dub ), a slick Ruby/Padrino playground (by Brian Jackson), and we’ve been able to launch some pillar ESPN apps that leverage our APIs, like the new ESPN Radio iOS app and our ESPN Hub app for Nokia Lumia phones.

In addition to enabling our own product development and strategic partnerships, we are working on many aspects of improving the ESPN API for both smaller companies and public developers.

  • Effective immediately, public developers can now make up to 7,500 API calls per day (an increase of 5k/day). We’re also working on making additional data available that would allow for broader creativity and usage to help build innovative applications. As more data is made available we will announce it here on the blog.
  • For smaller companies and independent app developers with commercial needs, we are looking at a way to make a set of ESPN content available to this group. We are aiming to have additional details on this offering later this year. In the meantime, we ask that companies interested in a strategic partnership with ESPN contact us. Due to the large volume of inquiries we’ve received it can take us up to 2-3 weeks to respond, but we will reach out. We appreciate your patience while we work on a more streamlined partner offering to meet this demand.

Speaking of making more data available, we’re finally to the fun part. We are happy to announce the following enhancements to the ESPN API:

  • Olympics and ESPNW (our online destination for female sports fans) news is now available through the Headlines API.
  • Athlete ID and name information across all sports is available to all access tiers in the Athletes API.
  • Team ID, name, color, and venue information across all team sports is available to all access tiers in the Teams API.
  • College football and college basketball player biographical data (including height, weight, position, age, birth date and birthplace) is now publicly available to all developers via our Athletes API.

For our internal developers and strategic partners, the following enhancements have been made:

  • Team logos are now included in the Teams API and as an option in the Scores, Athletes and Standings APIs.
  • College football and college basketball recruiting data is now available in the Athletes API.
  • Story text (both standard and Mobile, where available) can be optionally disabled in the Headlines API by using a disable=story,mobileStory parameter.

We hope you enjoy the improvements. Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks.


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