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“I say it all the time, ‘you have to show it to grow it,’ and we aren’t done yet with softball’

As Oklahoma and Florida State vie for the Women's College World Series title beginning tonight on ESPN, senior coordinating producer Meg Aronowitz discusses the keys to presenting a sport that has "unlimited potential"

Fans of Florida State University celebrate during the 2021 Women’s College World Series. (Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Celebrating her 20th year at ESPN, senior coordinating producer Meg Aronowitz has had a truly unforgettable season.

Overseeing 26 NCAA Championships this spring due to COVID, Aronowitz and her team have had had a jam-packed season, and her softball crew is set for one of the most exciting Women’s College World Series finales yet.

Meg Aronowitz
(Melissa Rawlins/ESPN Images)

Coupled with record viewership and high-flying innovations and tech enhancements, softball has experienced one of its biggest seasons to date following the cancellation of the 2020 campaign.

“It’s been one of the hardest years of my career in terms of trying to figure out how to successfully put television on the air while keeping everyone safe, but also maintaining the same content and value people expect from ESPN,” Aronowitz said.

To no one’s surprise, Aronowitz and her team made it happen.

The WCWS is back and better than ever, with a dedicated production crew making magic on-site in OKC, talent back in the booth, and more than 40 cameras to capture the action. Opening Day of the WCWS was the most-viewed Day 1 since 2009, and it isn’t over yet. The championship series between No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 10 Florida State begins tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

In my mind, softball has always been about creating and identifying storylines that keep people longer, because they are going to watch anyway because they think they can play the game themselves. It resonates with them. – Aronowitz

Recently promoted to her role of senior coordinating producer, Aronowitz now oversees the production of more than two dozen NCAA Championships from an executive level, giving the sport-specific coordinating producers the ability to focus on their assigned coverage.

Despite this 30,000-foot view of many Olympic sports, Aronowitz has kept softball as the crown jewel in her collection, having spent more than 15 years working on ESPN’s coverage of the sport.

“There are two sports I have come across in my career at ESPN that I believe have unlimited potential: gymnastics and softball. With softball specifically, it’s such an awesome, compact game that just catches your eye and makes you stay. In my mind, softball has always been about creating and identifying storylines that keep people longer, because they are going to watch anyway because they think they can play the game themselves. It resonates with them.”

Aronowitz’s trademark passion for Olympic sports was cultivated in her early days at ESPN, when she began working on the assignment desk in 2001.

Quickly falling in love with live television production, it wasn’t long before she took on the role of production coordinator for MLB and Little League – becoming one of the six original production coordinators in what is now Event Production. While serving in the role, Aronowitz took on additional duties, which eventually led to her producing live events.

In 2005, she moved to Charlotte to help launch ESPNU as a production manager. Just two years later, she was named a coordinating producer of NCAA Championships, the youngest person at the time to fill that position. Since moving to Charlotte to launch ESPNU, Aronowitz has also helped launch the SEC Network in 2014 and the ACC Network in 2019.

In addition to her work, Aronowitz oversees the school production facilities in the SEC and ACC, working hand in hand with the schools and conferences to capitalize on the great learning opportunities present in producing live events.

Since the return of sports last fall, Aronowitz and her team have worked with each of the schools to produce a record number of high-level events throughout the pandemic, with Aronowitz commenting that the effort of each school control room was nothing short of “phenomenal.”

Once people had access to it and had the ability to see it, you start to see the numbers grow. I say it all the time, ‘you have to show it to grow it,’ and we aren’t done yet with softball. There is so much potential with this game, and what I love about it is that it’s just so accessible. – Aronowitz

Aronowitz has seen Olympic sports grow during her time at ESPN, especially the sport she loves so dearly. Going from six regular-season softball games and the WCWS across ESPN networks in 2005 to televising more than 160 regular-season games and every pitch of the postseason in 2021, there’s more awareness than ever about one of the most exciting women’s collegiate sports.

“Once people had access to it and had the ability to see it, you start to see the numbers grow,” Aronowitz noted. “I say it all the time, ‘you have to show it to grow it,’ and we aren’t done yet with softball. There is so much potential with this game, and what I love about it is that it’s just so accessible.”

The game with limitless potential and record growth is set for the sport’s greatest stage beginning tonight under Aronowitz’s expert eye.

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