Behind The Scenes

What’s the big idea? Look inside
ESPN’s Digital Media ‘Hackathon’

What do you get when teams of top-notch developers are let loose to “hack” whatever they want for 36 straight hours?

At ESPN, you get lots of great ideas with a jumpstart toward becoming actual digital products that sports fans can use.

That’s the concept behind ESPN’s Digital Media Hackathon.

For the second straight year, teams of programmers, engineers and designers from the Digital Media group took time out — that is, they added time to their already busy schedules — to ideate, collaborate and create the next big thing for an ESPN online or mobile product.

More than 50 hackers making up 15 teams spread across Bristol, New York, Seattle and Bangalore, India competed for trophies and prizes awarded by a panel of judges comprised of top ESPN executives, including new president John Skipper and Chief Technology Officer Chuck Pagano.

APIs, multi-screen experience, personalization, statistical analysis, and as always, making things easy for sports fans were the major themes of the day.

In the end, “Second Screen Sensations,” a team split between Bristol and Seattle, won the “Best In Show” and “Audience Choice” awards, with four other teams taking home prizes in other categories.

Of course, much of what came out of all the hacking remains top secret for now (check out the video for an inside look at what we can share!), but sports fans can rest assured “The Next Big Thing” is on the way.

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