With the Seattle Seahawks’ victory clearly in hand Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVIII, ESPN’s Talent Producers went to work, booking a slew of Super Bowl champion guests for Monday’s ESPN television and radio shows. Shaun Wyman, the company’s lead NFL booker, spearheaded the effort, along with fellow Talent Producers Kareem White, Darren Demetrio, Mike Antoniou and ESPN Radio booker Josh Drew, all working together from different locations in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
— ESPN TalentProducers (@ESPNBookers) February 2, 2014
“Josh and I worked hand-in-hand to prepare for Monday morning by creating a ‘hit list’ during the game,” Wyman explains. “We got a little lucky that the guys on the list we already had a relationship with them or their reps. “If Josh tracked down someone for Mike & Mike, he teed them up to be in touch. If I got someone for SportsCenter, Mike would have them call into radio. Not to mention, the Seahawks’ PR staff is great and our relationship with [ABC’s] Good Morning America helps to give us great on-site access.”
The coordinated effort paid big dividends as fans were able to see and hear directly from several members of the Super Bowl champions on ESPN on Monday. Mike & Mike welcomed Seahawks players Doug Baldwin, Cliff Avril, Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, while SportsCenter had live interviews with quarterback Russell Wilson, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and Avril, among others. Sherman also did interviews on The Herd with Colin Cowherd and SVP & Russillo.
Later in the day, after Smith was greeted by a hero’s welcome during the Magic Kingdom parade in his honor at Walt Disney World, the newly-minted MVP was interviewed on SportsCenter, NFL Live and SportsNation. Demetrio coordinated the satellite interviews with help from Disney. [Note: ESPN is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.]
Monday’s effort caps the busiest week of the year for ESPN’s Talent Producers. In all, Wyman and company booked 115 guest appearances for Super Bowl XLVIII (not counting ESPN analysts) for three radio shows, First Take, NFL Insiders, NFL Live, Sunday NFL Countdown, and “talkbacks” to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. studios.
With a guest list that included Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Meyers, “Draft Day” actors Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary, “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro and NFL stars like Joe Montana, Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, to name just a few, it’s hard not to be impressed with their efforts.