ESPN CareersNCAAFWalt Disney CompanyWho Does That?Working @ ESPN

ESPN VP of Production Amanda Gifford Closes Out Rookie Season in New Role

ESPN’s College Football Event Production team concludes 1,000+ game-slate under Gifford’s guidance

Amanda Gifford (standing): “It is remarkable to see how many people are involved and how much collaboration and teamwork it takes to produce our slate of college football games week in and week out.”
(Amanda Gifford/ESPN)

College football’s Bowl Season is underway across ESPN platforms, and Amanda Gifford and the CFB team are ready for ESPN’s robust television slate of 40 bowl games, including the College Football Playoff.

Gifford started in her new role as Vice President of Production in August 2023, overseeing ESPN’s industry-leading college football event productions as well as the XFL.

The proud Penn State alum has continuously expanded her role over the past two decades, contributing to various areas, including ESPN Audio, SportsCenter and other studio and digital shows, the ESPN Talent Office, and, most recently, event productions.

Gifford has a busy postseason ahead, including on-site stops in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – where her Nittany Lions take on Ole Miss, New Orleans for the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and Houston for the grand finale of college football, the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T.

She shared her thoughts on her rookie season leading ESPN’s college football event production team, what she’d share with herself when starting at ESPN 20 years ago as a true rookie, and more.

What’s the biggest takeaway from your first season in this role?
It is remarkable to see how many people are involved and how much collaboration and teamwork it takes to produce our slate of college football games week in and week out. The dedication, work ethic, and skill of all parties involved are astounding and have been really fun to be a part of.

Access has been an area of focus. Do you have a favorite moment that ESPN cameras or microphones captured this fall?
It has to be Oregon head coach Dan Lanning’s speech prior to their game against Colorado in September [watch below]: “They’re fighting for clicks. We’re fighting for wins.” It was a tremendous line, and the whole speech went viral throughout the day/night and into the next week.

ESPN is the originator of the MegaCast. Which of the many presentations planned for the College Football Playoff semifinals and national championship are you most excited about?
I love all the offerings, but for me, though, the games are going to be fantastic. So, I plan to be locked in on the traditional game telecast as much as possible.

As a nearly 20-year ESPN veteran, what would you tell Amanda from two decades ago about what life is like at ESPN now?
Some days, I still am in awe that I get paid to do this! I would tell anybody who is just starting out to never lose the passion and energy of a new role. Make the most of every opportunity. Learn as much as you can. Work hard and be a problem solver. Lead with positivity. Find ways to make personal connections with your colleagues.

What are your team’s priorities for the offseason, looking ahead to the 2024 college football season?
We have a lot of great things to look forward to in 2024 including the expanded College Football Playoff, more SEC games, conference realignment, etc. Our leadership team (shoutout to my colleagues Bryan Jaroch, Shawn Murphy, and Nick Rud, who have been absolutely fantastic to work with this season) looks forward to catching our breath after the national championship game, locking ourselves in a room for a few days and starting the planning process for 2024. It’s going to be a fantastic year!

Back to top button