Forward/Rewind: Highlighting examples of ESPN serving fans in 2014


Editor’s Note: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2015/2014 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives and their properties throughout ESPN for views on what transpired in 2014 and a glimpse into 2015. It was a monster year for ESPN, with the success of the World Cup; the phenomenal launch of the SEC Network; the opening of Digital Center 2, the new home for SportsCenter and NFL Studio shows; and so much more. We can never encapsulate all the amazing things ESPN did this year, but the Forward/Rewind does its best to recognize the moments we’ll all remember.

1. Welcome SEC Network, FiveThirtyEight

The launches of SEC Network and FiveThirtyEight under the ESPN umbrella brought new and unique insights to sports fans.

2. SportsCenter

Senior VP, SportsCenter and News, Rob King: “Taking SportsCenter on the Road to places like Kansas City, Tuscaloosa, Starkville and Cleveland energized our coverage of big events and enabled fans to meet our anchors and see themselves on the show. Also, through a combination of clever planning and adoption of newer technology, we developed two new concepts that took SportsCenter’s NFL coverage to a new level: “Training CampSCenter,” our coverage of all 32 training camps over the course of two weeks, and our “Wednesday Practice Coverage,” in which we dispatched weekly teams to as many as 10 NFL facilities to document the league’s biggest story lines.”

3. NFL

Vice President, Production and Monday Night Football Producer, Jay Rothman on Gruden’s QB Camp: “By making the move to the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando this year from [MNF analyst] Jon Gruden’s Tampa office, it made our shows better. The production facility at WWOS gave us the opportunity to provide SportsCenter with in-progress highlights throughout the day of every quarterback visit. We also did live, same-day interviews with Jon on SportsCenter as a post-evaluation. It was a great learning for us and it created even more content opportunities.”

4. Tennis

The second Monday at Wimbledon – dubbed “the greatest day in tennis” when all Round of 16 matches take place – ESPN continued a unique offering: Cross-Court Coverage. Centre Court is on one channel while other action – primarily Court 1 – is on another. A sensation among fans since it debuted when ESPN obtained Wimbledon exclusivity in 2012, it continued for two more days, to cover all the quarterfinals.

5. Outside The Lines

Senior Coordinating Producer, Studio Production, David Brofsky: “[Examples of serving fans include] all of the work OTL and the Enterprise Unit did on the following topics: domestic violence, mental health issues on college campuses (the Sasha Menu Corey story) and the issue of sexual assault on college campuses (Derrick Washington story).”

6. ESPN Marketing and Ad Sales

The debut of “Who’s IN?” brought attention to ESPN’s integrated campaign for the historic, inaugural College Football Playoff.

7. ESPN The Magazine

Editor-in-Chief of ESPN The Magazine &, Chad Millman:The Mag has a truly integrated, original and impactful content plan that drives amongst the most widely distributed and engaged enterprise stories in the ESPN universe. This is a core part of our overall mission – to serve fans across all ESPN screens.”

8. Golf golf editor Kevin Maguire: “Our GolfCast product, which incorporates all our live chatting, live scores and live video during the majors. We gave it a slight overhaul this year to give video a higher presence on the page.”

An example of's GolfCast.
An example of’s GolfCast.

9. E:60

Executive Producer, Andy Tennant: “E:60 has become the ultimate destination for storytelling in sports. And that’s a testament to the team of producers, editors and correspondents on the show, who span the globe to find thought-provoking issues and important personal stories that need to be told, compelling stories that transcend the fields of play. This year, we have continued that philosophy, with stories about topics such as domestic violence in the NFL; race and the use of deadly force by police, that has sparked a national debate; and an investigative piece into human rights issues surrounding the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”

Dan Quinn, Andy Hall, Carrie Kreiswirth, Dave Nagle, Allison Stoneberg, Mac Nwulu, Bill Hofheimer, Ana Livia Coelho, Amy Phillips and Gracie Blackburn contributed to this post.
Tuesday: Biggest Social Moments

Back to top button