A loyal and dedicated builder, ESPN PR’s Laurel Daggett enters retirement

Laurel Daggett (left) with Bill Rasmussen.
Laurel Daggett (left) with Bill Rasmussen, ESPN’s founder.

In the summer of 1980, a “Kelly Girl” walked into the meager offices of a Bristol start-up and started to make her mark. Today, ESPN’s Senior Director, Customer Service and Archives, Laurel Daggett, will walk around the now sprawling, modern campus one final time.

For more than 35 years, Laurel has helped shape the backbone of ESPN’s Communications Department. Many of the tools and processes the company uses to tell its story in the ever-changing media world have Laurel’s fingerprints on them.

Her forte has always been identifying the need and jumping in – no matter the time of day or breadth of mission – and making it happen. From her early days establishing the information flow internally and externally, to building the company’s viewer response, photography and TV listings functions, to launching the websites ESPNMediaZone and this blog (Front Row), Laurel has been a builder.

“It seemed like every few years we had a new challenge to meet,” Daggett said. ““I can’t believe my luck to have fallen in with a group of people who are inspirational, dedicated, hard-working and funny.”

Her final ESPN stop has been to establish formal archives for the very history she helped shape. Laurel’s experiences made her uniquely qualified to uncover and preserve a now rich archive of historic photos, press releases, newspaper clippings, marketing materials and more.

It’s been my good fortune to work with Laurel throughout her journey and I join all her colleagues in appreciating her vision, work ethic and unwavering commitment to ESPN. What we will all miss beyond her daily presence is her big heart and her love of life.

But like the archives she created, her spirit – and impact – will never be forgotten.

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