There were few dry eyes at the Nokia Theater L.A. LIVE on Wednesday night as SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott, this year’s Jimmy V Perseverance Award recipient, told the crowd that he, like the award’s namesake, would not give up in his personal battle with cancer.
The poignant moment was a reminder that while the ESPYS celebrate athletic achievement, the event represents a key part of ESPN’s commitment to fighting cancer through its partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
This year, the ESPYS were just one component of a day-long fundraising drive called ESPY Day. The first-year initiative brought in more than $6.5 million to benefit The V Foundation through viewer donations, the ESPY Day Celebrity Golf Classic, an investment from Stand Up to Cancer and ESPN Radio’s 10th Annual ESPY Day Auction.
“I want to thank our fans, employees, sponsors and supporters for making the very first ESPY Day a great success,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “The astounding level of support for this initiative is a testament to our collective determination to find a cure for this terrible disease.”
ESPN Radio’s ESPY Day Auction raised $1.2 million, with some auction items garnering thousand-dollar-bids. One of the more popular items included the famed SportsCenter desk. The winning bid: $26,100. Taking the prize for the highest winning bid was $47,100 for tickets to watch a Dallas Mavericks game with owner Mark Cuban.
The generous contributions made by many on ESPY Day brought the overall ESPY-related fundraising total to $23.5 million for cancer research since teaming with The V Foundation 21 years ago.
In the video above, ESPN employees at the company’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters participated in ESPY Day with games and experiences around Digital Center 2.
Video produced by Josh Lander