NEW YORK – For the first time since 2015, ESPN was honored Wednesday night with the two top media prizes at the prestigious Sports Business Journal Awards.
With a flurry of rights acquisitions, audience growth and digital and social success, ESPN won the Best in Sports Media for the second straight year. Chairman ESPN and Sports Content, The Walt Disney Company, Jimmy Pitaro accepted on behalf of ESPN employees and expressed strong optimism for the future of the sports industry.
Russell Wolff, Executive Vice President and General Manager, ESPN+, accepted the Best in Digital Sports Media for ESPN+. SBJ cited ESPN+’s “new rights deals, expanded live content, and innovative original content. ”
ESPN on TikTok was a finalist for best in social, and Pitaro was the only media executive who was a finalist for Sports Executive of the Year.
More than 1100 sports industry leaders attended the event at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. ESPN commentator Laura Rutledge was the evening’s host.
The evening’s highlight was the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Pitaro and Burke Magnus, ESPN President, Programming and Original Content, who presented the League of the Year award, were among the dignitaries who offered congratulations to Kraft.