EDITOR’S NOTE: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2016/2015 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of content executives throughout ESPN for their views on what’s ahead across ESPN for 2016 and some of what transpired in 2015. The snapshots provide a look at where ESPN has been, where it’s going and how it plans on getting there.
What was the best example of your division’s teamwork in 2015?
As the official media partner of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America and Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles, we engaged athletes, fans and supporters from around the world to learn more about the power of Special Olympics Unified Sports.
I’m proud of the cross-functional teamwork throughout the company from Citizenship to Production, Marketing, Sales, Communications and many other departments which contributed to the success of the World Games. It also was the collaboration with Disney, ABC and our sponsors including Bank of America and Coca Cola, which made the whole experience unforgettable for athletes and fans alike.
What was the most “social” moment of 2015?
The buzz about the “power of sports” lit up social media, as athletes, leagues, teams, celebrities and fans tweeted about the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards in July. This inaugural event brought together the sporting community to pay tribute to the collective good of sports in the United States. It was exciting to see everyone from Henrik Lundqvist to Laila Ali to WWE talking about #SportsHumanitarian.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 15, 2015
What excites you most about 2016?
In 2015, ESPN launched a new Corporate Citizenship strategy that uses the power of sport to positively address society’s needs. The company’s community investments are now focused on five key areas: Access to Sports, Leadership Through Sports, Good Neighbor, Sustainability and The V Foundation.
This year we get to dive deeper into the strategy and see the impact of the investments we made come to fruition. For example, more than 125,000 youth gained access to sports due to our programs. In 2016, we’ll get to see what difference that has made.