Behind The ScenesSportsCenter

SC Featured, SportsCenter’s storytelling brand, returns Sunday

SC Featured will present “The Meaning of Miyah,” a story of the friendship between 6 year-old Miyah, who lost her battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Washington Wizards star John Wall. (Susan Ansman/ESPN)
SC Featured will present “The Meaning of Miyah,” a story of the friendship between 6 year-old Miyah, who lost her battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Washington Wizards star John Wall.
(Susan Ansman/ESPN)

The new season of SC Featured, SportsCenter’s award-winning storytelling brand, opens on Sunday, Feb. 14. SC Featured stories air on Sundays during the NFL offseason, debuting in the 10 a.m. ET edition with a re-air in the 11 p.m. program and at other times throughout the day.

NEW SC FEATURED LOGO JPEG (new)

Victor Vitarelli, senior coordinating producer for ESPN’s Features Unit, talks to Front Row about SC Featured’s 2016 season:

Will viewers see a different kind of story on SC Featured in 2016?
In any story we do, our goal is to bring something to the viewer that they didn’t know before. That can be something about a star athlete or a sporting event that you have never heard of.

Victor Vitarelli (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Victor Vitarelli
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

What kinds of stories have you found resonate with the viewers?
SC Featured has told a wide variety of stories through the years. It seems the features that resonate the most with our fans are stories about triumph over tragedy. The stories of athletes overcoming adversity to compete and do what they love to do. Those are the stories that people really seem to latch onto and share socially.

We also have a lot of stories on the docket this year that are a little unexpected, and some are a little off the beaten path. They’re the ones we hope our fans will say, “Wow, did you see that on SportsCenter?”

Do you feel that you have a very well-oiled machine doing SC Featured?
The Features Unit is not a large group and we have the process of story pitch and story production down to where it’s a pretty efficient operation and we’re able to get stories on the air relatively quickly. Being nimble like that certainly allows us to react quickly to anything that we want to turn around fast for SportsCenter. Everyone working on SC Featured knows the value of the stories to SportsCenter. For SportsCenter, it’s bigger than something that just goes on the air for eight or nine minutes. SC Featured really has become part of the fabric of the shows.

Upcoming SC Featured content

The first SC Featured of the 2016 season on Sunday, Feb. 14 is “The Meaning of Miyah,” a story of the friendship between 6-year-old Miyah, who lost her battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Washington Wizards star John Wall. Other SC Featured pieces airing in the coming months include:

“Chubbtown”: As part of ESPN’s Black History Month observance, the Sunday, Feb. 21, SC Featured will tell the story of Chubbtown, Ga., the home of University of Georgia running back Nick Chubb and a town formed by free black families during the Civil War.

“Gotham Knights and the Bingham Cup”: The largely gay rugby team was formed in tribute to Mark Bingham, a gay man and former college rugby player who was believed to have been one of the passengers who fought off hijackers on United flight 93 which crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11.

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