Forward/Rewind: X Games/Boxing

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Matt Sandulli
Matt Sandulli

Matt Sandulli, Senior Coordinating Producer, Production

#Hashtag of the year for 2012:
#FNF. In 2012 we established our “Friday Night Fights” social media presence, which gave us the ability to provide fans the most important news and information and trending topics from the world of boxing. We used #FNF exclusively for branding opportunities to tie back to the show and create a seamless outlet of information regardless of platform.

#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
I am predicting that #PacquiaoMayweather will be talked about all year long; however it is unlikely that the fight will come to fruition in 2013. With Pacquiao’s stunning loss to Marquez, he will need a win over a strong opponent to gain momentum for a potential Mayweather fight, which in my opinion will take longer than one calendar year. Unfortunately, this fight will most likely take place when these two guys are past their prime in the Fall of 2014.

A big prediction for your property in 2013:
Fans will enjoy getting even more boxing on “Friday Night Fights” in 2013 when the weekly series returns for its 15th season adding a third scheduled bout to each telecast, and capitalizing on the resources provided by our new multi-year agreement with HBO to provide even more access to the biggest fights of the year. – By Stephen McDonald[/box]


Editor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2013/2012 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2013 and some of what transpired in 2012. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.

X Games

Phil Orlins, Coordinating Producer, ESPN 3D & X Games

Best off camera moment:
On the next to last day of X Games LA, Topy Heikennen came up well short in RallyCross jump practice. When you come up short on a 60-foot gap jump in a car it’s never good. All of our cameras were inside Staples Center getting ready for a Moto X event. A few minutes later, a great hand held shot from right alongside the gap jump appeared in our truck.

It turned out that Mike Zigmont from our Emerging Technology team was on his lunch break and ran out to get a shot of Rally practice on his iPhone. The shot of the crash was great but what meant the most was that, even though “Ziggy” was already working endless hours building our virtual graphics, all he wanted to do on his break was run out and get some shots of the Rally cars jumping. It’s that passion for the event that I’ll remember more than the crash or the shot.

Phil Orlins
Phil Orlins

Favorite segment or interview:
Unfortunately our most memorable segment came as the result of the death of four-time X Games Ski Gold Medalist Sarah Burke. After a crash in practice in mid-January Sarah passed away a few days before X Games Aspen.

It’s impossible to adequately express how many people in all areas of the X Games family had been touched by Sarah’s friendship and spirit. She was one of a kind as an athlete and a person. With the help of everyone who is part of the X Games we were able to create a memorable tribute to Sarah that culminated with the X Games athletes slowly riding down a darkened superpipe with candles. It’s still very difficult emotionally to watch. I will never forget how so many people from so many different areas of the X Games came together to contribute everything they could to honor Sarah’s memory.

#Hashtag of the year for 2013:
#GlobalXpansion. The successful addition of Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany; and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, as X Games venues for the next three years — joining Aspen, Colo.; Tignes, France; and Los Angeles — is extremely important. In 2013, fans will have more opportunity and more ways to consume and enjoy X Games content.

New Year’s resolution for the X Games:
Take the X Games to the world! 2013 is the year that the X Games expands but the change is really much more than three great new events. Our resolution is to create and distribute content across all platforms in a way that will exponentially expand the value of the X Games.

What makes your group a family:
See favorite segment of 2012.


Forward/Rewind logo by Samantha Baron

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