espnW uses Nine for IX films to drop some knowledge

espnW's Knowledge Center
espnW’s Knowledge Center debuted this week.

This week, espnW launched its “Nine for IX Knowledge Center,” a site for educators and student-athletes, aimed at generating provocative conversations around the Nine for IX film series. It has already received more than 100 sign-ups since its debut, with requests for DVDs and discussion guides from schools big and small, far and wide — the University of Manitoba, New Mexico State University, St. Olaf College, even a school in Japan.

Front Row spoke with espnW Vice President Laura Gentile about the lasting impact of the films and the creation of the Knowledge Center.

What was the genesis for the Knowledge Center and tell us about the the collaboration with the Tucker Center?
We received an outpouring of positive feedback and interest when we launched the Nine for IX films last summer. Fans, teams and athletes spontaneously organized their own viewing parties around the films and used them as a forum for discussion, whether it was a field hockey team that watched “The ’99ers” and discussed the topics of team chemistry and leadership or a group of young women examining the themes inherent in our “Branded” film. In addition, coaches and teachers reached out and asked us to stimulate further discussions and take a leadership role in driving those conversations.

We collaborated with The Tucker Center because they are leaders in their field of research on women and girls in sports. Dr. Mary Jo Kane and Dr. Nicole LaVoi have been members of our espnW Advisory Panel since its inception. Dr. LaVoi was inspired to help us build on the entertainment value of the Nine for IX films and expose their true educational value. The Tucker Center also has a great network with the constituents we’re trying to reach with the Knowledge Center: institutions, professors, coaches, administrators and student-athletes.

How do The Knowledge Center and the Global Sports Mentoring Program further espnW’s mission to serve women as athletes and fans?
espnW has a broader mission than building a thriving sports media business for women, although that is of critical importance. We have the desire to truly empower women and girls through sports – providing tools, products, programs and content that interests them and enables them to have a voice, and ultimately more opportunity. We want to fuel empowering and inspiring – and sometimes difficult – conversations.

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