Veteran ESPN executive Rosa Gatti, who was instrumental in the growth, brand, and positioning of ESPN, was recognized by longtime partner Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday as she was inducted in the CoSIDA Hall of Fame.
Gatti joined ESPN in 1980 and spent 33 years building a world-class communications department, establishing policies and procedures pertaining to media relations, serving as a liaison to The Walt Disney Company, and overseeing corporate outreach initiatives, including The V Foundation.
Gatti also established ESPN’s longstanding and existing relationship with CoSIDA and assembled ESPN’s Diversity Committee.
And, our final 2021 @CoSIDAnews Hall of Fame Inductee is a legend in athletic communications and PR – Rosa Gatti, retired @ESPN PR executive and a pioneer as a female college SID. Hear from Rosa and all the other inductees now: https://t.co/dnr7fnv7JX pic.twitter.com/qCtDuZkdFb
— CoSIDA (@CoSIDAnews) June 10, 2021
As noted in the video above, Gatti gained the attention of ESPN following the successful execution of the 1980 Frozen Four during her time as a Sports Information Director at Brown University.
She began her trailblazing career at her alma mater, Villanova University, as an administrative assistant and then as an SID – the first woman to do so at a major NCAA institution.
Gatti is a former Vice President of CoSIDA and was recognized in 1987 with the Jake Wade Award for her outstanding contribution to college athletics. In 2003, she was recognized with the Keith Jackson “Eternal Flame” Award for a lasting contribution to intercollegiate athletics.
She also served on the public relations advisory committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee in the 1980s.
Her indelible mark can be seen and felt at ESPN, in college sports, and in so many other facets of this industry. ESPN congratulates her on this much-deserved honor.
Rosa was an ESPN pioneer and a tremendous role model for women both in college sports and for ascending leaders at ESPN. She is the reason ESPN has maintained a close relationship with CoSIDA and I was fortunate to have worked closely with Rosa for decades. Her early commitment to diversity has had a lasting impact in college athletics and at ESPN. Rosa is a true Hall-of-Famer. – George Bodenheimer, former ESPN President
Rosa was a pioneer many times over – first as a woman breaking barriers in sports, then as a leader in an upstart company called ESPN. Throughout, she was smart, tenacious, thoughtful, and courageous. She made everything she touched better, and one of those things was me. I am indebted to her and thrilled to see her get this recognition. – Chris LaPlaca, ESPN SVP, Communications