ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Just three weeks after announcing a new title sponsorship for the New Mexico Bowl, ESPN now says its cutting ties with the Albuquerque film production company it partnered with.
In a statement Thursday, a spokeswoman for ESPN says the company has “terminated” the sponsorship with DreamHouse Productions. ESPN had only announced the partnership with DreamHouse on October 1.
The surprise announcement comes after multiple news reports questioning DreamHouse and its CEO’s credibility.
On its website, the locally owned film production company bills itself as a “one-stop-shop for post-production services.” In a news release announcing its title sponsorship, DreamHouse was said to have a “25,000 square foot post-production studio.”
However, the company’s own website indicates that the studio isn’t open, stating, DreamHouse “was announced in 2018 with a grand opening coming 2020.”
On Thursday, ESPN released a two-sentence statement, announced it had severed ties with the company.
“We notified DreamHouse today that we have terminated its title sponsorship agreement with the New Mexico Bowl. We remain focused on ensuring a quality experience for fans.”Anna Negron, Senior Publicist for College Sports, ESPN
It’s unclear exactly what went wrong. Representatives for both ESPN Events and the New Mexico Bowl declined interviews Thursday, instead deferring to their statement.
At the unveiling ceremony earlier this month, New Mexico Bowl Executive Director Jeff Siembieda said he thought the sponsorship would help bring more people to the bowl game.
“I just believe that it’s going to bring a cross-section of fans and bring people who maybe weren’t attracted to a college football game, that see, ‘hey, wow, that’s an event that the film industry’s around it, I’m going to go check it out,'” said Siembieda.
In recent weeks, an Albuquerque-based sports website, Enchantment Sports published multiple stories raising questions about DreamHouse and its CEO, Eric Martinez.
Martinez is widely known in the New Mexico film and television scene, having played roles in several productions filmed in the state. KRQE News 13 interviewed Martinez in 2005 about a reality show featuring Albuquerque-based musical artists associated with his then-company “PowerMoves Entertainment.”
KRQE News 13 attempted to contact Martinez, representatives associated with Martinez and representatives associated with DreamHouse Productions Thursday but received no response.
ESPN says it’s still planning to host another scheduled New Mexico Bowl game in 2019, just without a title sponsor for now. It’s unclear how much money DreamHouse Productions had contributed or promised to contribute to the event, which is privately owned by ESPN Events.