EDITOR’S NOTE: In celebration of ESPN’s 41st birthday today, Sept. 7, 2020, Front Row revisits this post from Sept. 2019 that was part of our ESPN at 40 celebration. Read more ESPN AT 40 content from 2019.
BRISTOL, Conn. – On the eve of the company’s 40th anniversary, ESPN celebrated its iconic past and looked forward to an ever-evolving future in a Friday celebration held at its headquarters (the actual anniversary is Sept.7).
On hand were very special guests from ESPN’s past and present, headlined by ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen, original anchor George Grande, former ESPN President George Bodenheimer, Chris Berman, Suzy Kolber, Bob Ley, Dan Patrick, Robin Roberts and Mike Tirico, the six of whom – with a combined 164 years of ESPN experience – participated in a lively and revealing “Game Changers” panel led by current SportsCenter anchor Elle Duncan.
With more than 800 employees in attendance on-site and a livestream for those in outer offices, ESPN President, Co-Chair Disney Media Networks Jimmy Pitaro kicked off the multi-hour “Town Hall” by debuting a specially-produced 40th anniversary video, saying it “perfectly captures who we are and what we do.
“Our mission is: TO SERVE SPORTS FANS. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE,” Pitaro said. “It’s a constant reminder that ESPN is the place of record for sports fans. . . and a place where fans come together to celebrate the sports, the teams and the players they love.
“Today,” he said, “we’ll reflect on our past, celebrate the present and embrace our future.”
Front Row brings you this exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the emotional, fun-filled day and welcome all of you to celebrate this milestone as we thank you for being a fan: