Forward/Rewind: Motor Sports

ESPN_RW_FF LOGOEDITOR’S NOTE: With this multi-week series — the Front Row Forward/Rewind, 2016/2015 — ESPN’s Communications Department takes the pulse of 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.

Motor Sports

Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson
Kate Jackson, Coordinating Producer

What was the best example of your division’s teamwork in 2015?
When we got to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and started to run practice for the Indianapolis 500, it was the first time that the new IndyCar aero package had been on an oval all season long and some surprising things happened with accidents and cars going airborne. Any time that happens, the world of sports fans starts to get nervous and concerned, and it was a great opportunity for our team to practice real journalism, educate people on what was happening and remind them that this is part of racing. Racing in general and television in general require a lot of teamwork period, but I think it’s in those moments of fear and duress which do happen in racing with accidents and things like that is the best opportunity for teamwork.

What was the most “social” moment of 2015?
After James Hinchcliffe had the terrible accident at Indianapolis, which was a freak accident and really scary, social media was really a great tool for people to get very fast information about where he was, what was going on with him and that he was going to be okay. I think a lot of times social media is just that – social – but it is an incredible tool when you’re trying to disseminate important information. Again, in racing there is a level of fear that you don’t necessarily have in a baseball game, or a basketball game, things like that, and this was a great example of sharing immediate newsworthy information with a community of people that are very close together.

What excites you most about 2016?
Hands down, the opportunity to cover the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is unfathomable. This has been a staple of racing and of American culture for 100 years, and the opportunity to continue to shepherd that on for other generations is incredible, and I just feel so incredibly blessed and lucky that this is my job.

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