AndscapeESPN CareersExecutive VoiceInnovationWalt Disney CompanyWorking @ ESPN

Executive Voice: Mark Walker, ESPN Head of Sports Business Development & Innovation, On The Launch Of Andscape

"Building upon six years of award-winning work by The Undefeated, Andscape will provide expansive and nuanced coverage of current events and culture through an unapologetically Black lens."

Executive Voice

Mark Walker

Two years ago, Jimmy Pitaro articulated a vision for The Undefeated to “widen its lens to include the coverage of sports, fashion, music, the arts, and technology, with a goal of sharing that content with a larger audience” and expanding the brand across The Walt Disney Company.

Today, we roll out that vision with the launch of Andscape. Building upon six years of award-winning work by The Undefeated, Andscape will provide expansive and nuanced coverage of current events and culture through an unapologetically Black lens.

Andscape, where Blackness is infinite, represents the evolution from a focus on sports, race, and culture, to an always-on Black media exploring the intersections of Black and “everything”, rooted in its heritage of editorial and journalistic excellence. When you think about The Walt Disney Company’s three pillars – storytelling excellence, innovation, and audience focus – Andscape is the essence of all three – reaching new audiences in striking, relevant, and inspiring new ways.

Andscape will be laser-focused on engaging young consumers – from Gen Z to millennials, Black and multicultural – through its multi-hyphenate portfolio, including a daily digital hub (website and social media), content studios (book imprint, film, music), retail products, community experiences, and more.

Over time, Andscape will be an entry point for its community to engage with TWDC and its subsidiaries.

Many thanks to Raina Kelley (Vice President and Editor-in-Chief), Jason Aidoo (Vice President, Content Business Strategy and Operations), and Monique Jones (Managing Editor), for their leadership in bringing this vision to fruition.

Welcome to Andscape.

What are you most proud of as Andscape debuts?

That we came together and reimagined our world in such a way that we are able to become more pointed in our gaze, but more expansive in our coverage, all without losing the essence of where we come from–our sports heritage.

— Raina Kelley, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief

Can you share what went into the naming of Andscape?

Naming was a lengthy and carefully thought-out process. We wanted to ensure we could capture a name that we could own and imbue our own meaning into, as a start. We then looked at other black-led properties and examined the name codes and conventions used for these names to create our own list. This list allowed us to consider codes and conventions we wanted to build on as well as those we wanted to break when creating our name. Andscape answered all our needs.

— Jason Aidoo, Vice President, Content Business Strategy and Operations

What has been the most challenging element on this team? And what has gone more smoothly than expected?

Our team asked from the beginning, “What can we do to help?” They contributed ideas, stepped up to take on projects and did it all while still producing daily content. Whatever we could not handle internally, we relied heavily on our colleagues throughout the company to help create, track and execute. Our ESPN partners in Visual Storytelling and ESPN Creative Studio, Marketing, Social,, Audio, Sports Product and our development partners at 10up among others helped pull this together.

— Monique Jones, Managing Editor

Back to top button