Forward/Rewind: X Games/ESPN International

1Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 11.28.04 AMEditor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2014/2013 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2014 and some of what transpired in 2013. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.



X Games

Tim Reed, Senior Director of X Games Content Strategy

Tim Reed
Tim Reed

What was the best example of your unit’s teamwork from 2013?
The Rocky Mountains, the French Alps, the Brazilian rainforest, Gaudi, Octoberfest, Hollywood – six events, three continents, 600,000 fans, 150 hours of original content equalled one amazing trip #xgames2013.

What element from another ESPN production unit resonated with you most in 2013 and why?
College Gameday does a great job of keeping the energy and uniqueness of their show on a week-to-week basis. It is always cool to see where the teams travels to and how they handle the local integrations and create really good impact and a fresh start to Saturdays.

What was the “most social” moment of 2013?
My personal favorite was when X Games skateboard street gold medalist Nyjah Huston put down the final trick in Barcelona and won by 0.1 of a point. Dominant, clutch, defining moment for one of the baddest street skaters on the planet.

Do you have a New Years’ Resolution for 2014, maybe expressed in a hashtag?
#XGAMESAUSTIN – Big Kickoff for inaugural X Games Austin. X Games will take over Circuit of the Americas June 5-8 and for the first time we’ll blend the best action sports events with top music talent and a multitude of interactive elements for all ages to enjoy, all wrapped up in a one of kind Austin, Texas festival experience.

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International

Russell Wolff, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, ESPN International

Russell Wolff
Russell Wolff

What was the “most social” moment of 2013?

#ThankYouSachin

For me, Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement on Nov. 16 was one of the top social moments of the year – and ESPNcricinfo, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was in the middle of it. Sachin’s career spanned 24 years (he began professionally at age 16). From shortly after his career began, he has been one of best players in world cricket. He is a sporting and cultural icon in India and is the first player ever to score 100 Centuries (scoring 100 runs batting, more than 100 different times). He retired after his 200th Test. ESPNcricinfo had an elegant and outstanding special section devoted to Sachin’s retirement, and helped promote the #ThankYouSachin hashtag through that and through its own Facebook (2.4 million Likes), Twitter (nearing 1 million followers) and Google+ channels (along with the BCCI in India and other major Indian media).

#ThankYouSachin got more than 4.5 million tweets in just a few days around his 200th/final Test (it now has more than 5.3 million – and still growing). Additionally, his tweet of thanks to his fans ended up as the most re-Tweeted ever in India (with a reported 17,000+ RT’s and more than 12,000 Favorites). Among the many that tweeted messages regarding Sachin’s retirement were UK Prime Minister David Cameron, music legend Mick Jagger and sports stars Roger Federer, Graeme Swann, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Carrick and others.

What was the best example of your unit’s teamwork from 2013?
We initiated an exchange program that gave people the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a different ESPN facility. More than 30 people visited Bristol, Mexico, Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires and shared best practices with their colleagues. Also, as a group, we set new goals for SportsCenter in Latin America after we met over the summer to discuss and exchange new ideas.

What excites you most about using the new Digital Center (DC2) in 2014?
In 2014, the opening of DC2 will unveil the new SportsCenter set. It will also give ESPN International more access to use DC1 studios as well as digital control rooms. In 2014, we will open a new state of the art facility in Mexico with four studios, four production control rooms as well as 10 editing suites.

Ardi Dwornik contributed to this post

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