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ESPN’S RISE Team: Here’s Why George Grande, Circa ’79, Is Appearing On Your Plasma TV Screens, Phones And Tablets

"What is remarkable about the very first SportsCenter is that an expectation was set through Grande’s opening words and 40 years later we have stayed true to that promise"

The sizzle above that is now airing on various SportsCenter shows was created by ESPN’s RISE (Reveal Innovative Studio Elements).

The team, led by senior coordinating producer Jack Obringer, coordinating producer Johann Castillo and managing producer Terrell Bouza consists of 20 creative producers and writers who create all of the in-show promotional content for SportsCenter and studio shows including NFL Live, The Jump, First Take, Get Up and more.

“The story behind this particular sizzle came from one of [ESPN Executive Vice President, Remote and Studio Production] Norby Williamson’s staff meetings in December,” Castillo said. “He asked us to look at the old SportsCenter logos and see how they have evolved over time. He wanted us to find a way to use them as a creative bump to break.”

RISE produces show teases and bumps for every hour of SportsCenter. Castillo says that there is an average of eight unique RISE elements per hour to enhance the visual presentation and production of the show.

When searching for the old SportsCenter logos, the group ended up watching the very first show hosted by George Grande the night ESPN launched (Sept. 7, 1979).

“We were immediately drawn to Grande’s opening mission statement,” Castillo said. “That’s when the concept of using the logos, current highlight video, and the first SportsCenter show came together. I assigned it to one of our RISE content associates Scott Cikowski and he creatively produced and edited the reel.

“What is remarkable about the very first SportsCenter is that an expectation was set through Grande’s opening words and 40 years later we have stayed true to that promise,” said Castillo. “The technology may have evolved, the people may have changed, the presentation and studios may be more elaborate, but the foundation remains the same. We are here to deliver compelling stories, go beyond the highlights, and create unique content for our viewers.”

The content that RISE produces reaches beyond studio shows across all of ESPNs platforms including production, international, digital and social.

“The RISE team is a shining example of the ‘every minute counts’ production philosophy at work,” said Williamson. “The group is extremely focused on presenting compelling elements that motivate our audience to tune in more frequently and for longer periods of time. That approach is clearly making a difference in our ongoing viewership success.”

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