The countdown of Top 40 Female Athletes of the Past 40 years, as determined by a blue-ribbon panel commissioned by ESPN, began today on SportsCenter and espnW.
The project is part of the company’s The Power Of IX initiative recognizing the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the groundbreaking legislation that helped open doors for female athletes.
Every weekday until June 22, a chosen athlete will be revealed in special vignettes filmed for the project. SportsCenter‘s 10 a.m. weekday edition will announce an athlete for the first six weeks. The top 10 female athletes will be showcased on the 11 p.m. weeknight SportsCenters from June 11 through June 22 — the day before the 40th anniversary of Title IX. espnW.com will offer in-depth profiles of each athlete.
The athletes were chosen by 24 voters, including former SportsCenter anchor and current Good Morning America host Robin Roberts. continue reading…
LONDON — ESPN today strengthens its commitment to covering soccer globally, introducing ESPNFC, a new multi-language and multi-country brand for soccer fans around the world across TV, online, mobile print and radio.
Just in time for the exciting build-up to the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, the new brand will bring together all of ESPN’s soccer properties and house them under one universally recognized name.
Beginning today, fans can experience a preview of ESPNFC with branded content online and on mobile platforms specific to the EURO 2012.
Throughout EURO 2012, ESPNFC will be focused entirely on providing comprehensive coverage of one of the leading international soccer competitions, including news, analysis and commentary, real-time scores, stats and more.
And later this year – around the new Barclays Premier League and European seasons – ESPNFC will expand to encompass all major leagues and competitions worldwide.
Only five miles separate Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium from Manchester United’s Old Trafford. In 162 Manchester derbies (matches between teams from same town or local area), dating back to November 1881, Manchester United has 68 wins, Manchester City, 44, and there have been 50 draws.
However, many experts agree the Manchester derby has never been played with this much at stake at this point in the season — a potential Premier League title.
Leading up to Monday’s Manchester derby (ESPN, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes at 2:30 p.m. ET), some of ESPN’s soccer commentators offer their thoughts.
Ian Darke, English-language play-by-play commentator who will call the match on ESPN:
“It is a title decider if Manchester United wins. I concur with Sir Alex Ferguson who says ‘It is the biggest Manchester derby game ever.’ The stadium is going to be so turbo-charged, and I expect it to be a fanatical, crazy, wild night of tension among the fans.”
Jose Hernandez, Spanish-language play-by-play commentator for the match on ESPN Deportes:
“Manchester United tends to play with a defensive approach in these types of games. But their defense made mistakes last match against Everton. They are not obligated to win. A tie would be enough for them to maintain the three-point lead. A key for both teams is to not only attack but also know how to use their defense — a slight mistake could cost you the game.” continue reading…
The NFL and its Draft was a focal point in this week’s posts and clearly you, the fans, enjoyed it.
If you have any story ideas or things you would like to see us cover on Front Row, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then, let’s review the week:
• Congrats to Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. On Wednesday SportNation (ESPN2 from 5 – 6 p.m. ET) unveiled the cover athlete of Madden ’13. Johnson ousted Cam Newton to grace the cover of the most popular football video game in the world. The social media world was chatting. We Storified! it all.
The NFL Draft began Thursday night on ESPN at the same time as the company’s NBA Night: the final day of the regular season where the hoops postseason schedule is determined.
As you may expect, juggling both events makes for a busy week for ESPN’s programming team.
“About a week out, we are in regular contact with the NBA and start looking at the potential first-round matchup. We look at what the matchups might be and how they might project out and how they fit into each broadcast partner’s specific windows,” said LaPlaca. continue reading…
NEW YORK — On the eve of the 2012 NFL Draft this week, ESPN The Magazine held its ninth annual pre-Draft event at The Waterfront on Manhattan’s west side.
The private event featured top draft picks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Justin Blackmon and Trent Richardson, among others. Also in attendance were both current and former NFL players including Calvin Johnson, Jason Pierre-Paul, Victor Cruz and fellow (NY Giants) Justin Tuck, Mike Boley and Jake Ballard.
Music was provided by DJ Kiss.
Also featured was The Mag‘s social studio, sponsored by Fiat and hosted by ESPN talent Marcellus Wiley, Charissa Thompson and Michael Smith. continue reading…
Almost a year ago, action sports star and 17-time X Games medalist Travis Pastrana was scheduled to make his debut as a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series when an injury in the Summer X Games derailed his plans.
After time for his badly broken ankle to heal, Pastrana will race tonight in a 250-lap event at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET).
NASCAR racing is a complete departure from the type of competition that has made Pastrana’s name. He’s very aware of the steep learning curve he faces.
“We have a great sponsor base and great fan base, but really I have not established myself as a NASCAR driver,” Pastrana said on a media conference call.
“So I’m really trying to learn as much as I can about the sport. I know it’s going to be a long road, and I’m not going to just jump in and take off where I left off in Rally or motocross. I understand that.”
Travis Pastrana competing in Moto X Freestyle during the X Games.
Wildly popular with the younger generation, Pastrana hopes that his fan base follows him to NASCAR.
“I’ve been criticized a lot by the fans who honestly don’t understand how you can come from doing back flips and Nitro Circus to racing in a circle,” said Pastrana, who is featured in a new This Is SportsCenter spot that debuted this week.
“What they don’t understand is this is the most competitive, most intense form of racing that I’ve ever experienced. And as a fan, anyone that’s gone to a NASCAR race, understands it.”
What’s the story behind his This Is SportsCenter ad, which co-stars anchors Jay Harris and John Buccigross? continue reading…
The piece, by now retired Hartford Courant columnist Owen Canfield, describes a telecast with basics similar to today (135 player highlight packages in 1980 versus 250 today), minus the cabbies and Rusty Staub’s restaurant. continue reading…