Behind The ScenesESPN Fantasy

Fantasy Sports Trade Association honors ESPN podcasts, program

ESPN's Matthew Berry celebrates a Fantasy Sports Trade Association Award with Stacie Stern, an FSTA board member and head of the conference committee. (Photo courtesy Matthew Berry)
ESPN’s Matthew Berry celebrates a Fantasy Sports Trade Association Award with Stacie Stern, an FSTA board member and head of the conference committee.
(Photo courtesy Matthew Berry)
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Two ESPN Audio podcasts and ESPN2’s Fantasy Football Now were honored recently with Industry Recognition Awards at the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FTSA) convention in Dallas.

ESPN Audio received the award in both the seasonal and daily and podcast categories. The Fantasy Focus podcast, in its ninth season during the football season, features Matthew Berry, Field Yates, Stephania Bell, Daniel Dopp and more. This season, it generated more than 24 million impressions. The daily show debuted this year featuring Anita Marks, Aaron Schatz and a number of guests including DraftKings analysts Peter Jennings and Alvin Zeidenfeld.

In addition, Fantasy Football Now received the nod in the Broadcast Video category. Berry accepted the trophy on behalf of his on-air colleagues – Bell, Robert Flores, Tim Hasselbeck, Sara Walsh and Yates – and the entire crew.

Since the FTSA Awards began in 1999, ESPN has won numerous citations. This marks the first time ESPN has won three FTSA Awards in one year.

“I knew we had my vote. Felt pretty good about Stephania’s vote. And thought we had a shot at Field’s vote,” Berry said. “But to get the rest of the votes from the FSTA for all three projects is a true thrill. Jokes aside, it was a big year of transition for both Fantasy Focus – Field replacing Nate Ravitz, a new producer with Daniel Dopp – and for Fantasy Football Now – adding Field – plus launching the daily fantasy podcast with Anita. The fact that all three were honored among a lot of very stiff and deserving competition is a true honor and one we do not take lightly.”

Fantasy sports “are an important part of the sports conversation and our products are gaining momentum with an avid audience,” said Pete Gianesini, senior director, ESPN podcasts. “Just like in most team efforts, there are more people responsible for the group’s success than most are aware, and I’m grateful for a great team. They deserve this honor.”

Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer who oversees Fantasy Football Now, added, “This was great news for a hard-working group whose multi-platform efforts also include the Fantasy Football Kickoff show on Tuesdays and the popular Fantasy Focus 06010 podcast. Fans have always come to ESPN for the best in football highlights and analysis, and now this clearly also includes fantasy topics.”

Kevin Ota contributed to this post.

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