Welcome to Episode 6 of the ESPN PRod Pod, the official podcast of the ESPN Communications Department. The PRod Pod takes you behind ESPN’s unmatched storytelling by introducing the people behind the content – who they are, where they’re from and how they create the magic.
March and April can have their lions and lambs, May was an absolute monster month for ESPN’s Brian Lockhart. On the seventh of the month, he was promoted to Senior Vice President, ESPN+ Original Content and ESPN Films. And on the 18th, during the Walt Disney Company’s Upfront day, Lockhart and team unveiled a new slate of ESPN+ original content and a new 30 for 30 project that got more than a bit of attention.
Communications Associate Producer Jon McLeod welcomes Lockhart to this episode of the PRod Pod and he admits to not entirely anticipating how his second stint at ESPN would unfold (he worked for the network after graduating from Holy Cross, where he played basketball).
“I did not see this coming,” said Lockhart, a Jacksonville, Fla., native who originally dreamed of being a civil engineer. (“Why?” is the answer to one of ESPN Fan Relations Senior Coordinator Kiana Lowe requisite “Fab Five” questions to close out the podcast.)
What Lockhart has seen coming – and what he and his colleagues see better than almost anyone else – are the stories and storytellers that combine for “WOW” viewing experiences. Case in point, as Lockhart shares with McLeod, is the forthcoming American Gladiators project. He says the origins story is chock full of content gold.
“I sit in a very special seat,” said the man who oversees strategy, development, production and integration of all original programming initiatives under the ESPN Films & 30 for 30 umbrella, as well as original series and studio shows on ESPN+.
Sit in your special seat and join the pod for topics that also include: “interrogating the idea” of how best to serve fans; the staggering amount of proposals his group sees monthly; and the disaster he thought his initial interview with ESPN legend Al Jaffe was.