Carolina Padrón: “The experience of doing a commercial with Rafael was incredible. Rafa and his crew were very friendly. . . I had the opportunity to meet them at the Mexican Open, so it was great to see them again. I have a photo of me eating jelly beans from the trophy that was featured in the spot. Surreal things that only happen when you work at the Worldwide Leader of sports.”
Bram Weinstein: “I found out while I was on vacation with family that I was being asked to be part of the campaign. What an incredible honor. It’s such an iconic part of the “SportsCenter” brand, I was elated to even be asked.”
Sara Walsh and Jade McCarthy had to provide laughter repeatedly while Weinstein and John Anderson were saying their lines.
McCarthy: “It helped to know that John and Bram were coming up with some pretty funny lines of their own.”
Walsh: “What you don’t get to see in the commercial is how many takes we did having a conversation at Rafa’s desk. He shared some funny stories about his life off the court, and while John and Bram point out all the obvious things he’s got going for him, one of the greatest to ever play the game, [Nadal] couldn’t have been more humble.”
Following Rafael Nadal’s US Open victory against Novak Djokovic on Sept. 9, ESPN debuted its latest addition to the award-winning “This is SportsCenter” franchise with a spot that features the 13-time major title champion.
The 30-second spot, titled “Candy Dish,” was filmed in both English and Spanish on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters’ north campus. It showcases SportsCenter anchors John Anderson and Bram Weinstein speculating on what makes the Spanish player so popular in the office as they watch anchors Sara Walsh, Jade McCarthy and Kevin Connors chatting up Nadal by his desk. The Spanish version of the spot features ESPN Deportes’ SportsCenter anchors Alvaro Morales, Jorge Eduardo Sánchez and Carolina Padrón.
“We wanted a diverse group of anchors, and felt the five who appeared [in the English spot] were perfect fits. It was a great opportunity to mix in John Anderson, a veteran of the campaign, with some of our newer talent,” said A.J. Mazza, sports marketing manager at ESPN. continue reading…
Last week, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN announced a two-year, global initiative with Special Olympics Unified Sports during a ceremony at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus, in conjunction with ESPN’s 34th anniversary. Special guests present for the ceremony included Portland Trail Blazers’ NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, X Games skateboarder Mitchie Brusco, U.S. women’s soccer player Kristine Lilly, Special Olympics International board member and champion figure skater Michelle Kwan, Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy P. Shriver and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Sue Swanson.
SportsCenter anchor and NFL Live host Trey Wingo served as emcee for the ceremony. SportsCenter anchors Jay Harris, Kevin Negandhi, Sage Steele, Kevin Connors and Sara Walsh all participated in the celebration. continue reading…
Before we get to your questions, we just wanted to remind you it soon will be time to adjust your DVR settings. Why? It was recently announced that ESPN and ESPN2 will have a new afternoon schedule beginning Monday, Aug. 5. Here’s all the information you need.
Now, onto your latest batch of questions . . .
I really like the yellow coffee mugs that were on the set of ESPN’s coverage of The Open. Where can I purchase one? – Kencontinue reading…
ESPN2 will present the first-ever live telecast of the CrossFit Games Finals this Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. In addition, ESPN3 will have live action today (11 a.m.), Friday (12 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.). Each day, ESPN3 will carry the key challenges, along with analysis, highlights and athlete interviews. (Click here to view full schedule.)
To get in the spirit of the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games, ESPN’s Wellness Team recently hosted an ESPN Fitness Challenge for employees on the Bristol, Conn. campus green. Employees were put through a series of six high-intensity exercises, which included kettle bell swings, bear crawls and burpee broad jumps.
In the video above employees, including SportsCenter anchor Kevin Connors, shared their thoughts before and after the challenge.
ESPN2 will telecast a live NBA Trade Deadline Special on Thursday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN).
Anchor Kevin Connors (@kevconnorsespn) will host with analysts Flip Saunders (@Flip_Saunders), Tom Penn (@1tompenn) and ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard). (See the Twitter feed to the right for updates from ESPN NBA experts as Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline approaches.)
Front Row caught up with Saunders, who joined ESPN in October after 16 seasons as an NBA head coach, to discuss, among other topics, this season’s trade market, his deadline day memories and his transition from coach to analyst.
What has the transition from NBA head coach to ESPN NBA analyst been like?
It’s been nothing but a positive experience. Whether it’s been other analysts, anchors or production colleagues, everyone has been helpful. As a coach, you’re always focused on your team, but you don’t look at the league as a whole. Now I get to study the entire league. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work. It’s given me such a great appreciation for the work and preparation our on-air talent puts in.
As an NBA head coach, what is the trade deadline day like? Any deadline day memories?continue reading…
On Sunday, after Brad Keselowski won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title, the 28-year-old appeared on SportsCenter for an interview with anchor Kevin Connors. The resulting four minute-plus interview (above) quickly became Internet gold as fans of Keselowski and his “Blue Deuce” raved about their beer-chugging driver and his revealing conversation with Connors.
Front Row asked Connors for his perspective on the live talkback.
What was your initial thought when you saw him with a huge glass of beer?
Where’s mine?! Then I thought, this is about as genuine as it gets. His reaction was so real, that’s why it received the response it did. Here’s a guy who just finished off a dream season, and he’s having a beer to celebrate. A very, very, very large beer.
You (and others) commented after that it was a great interview. What did you like so much about it?
The fact that it was so natural. Athletes love to thank their sponsors, their agents, their apparel company, etc. Brad was just sincere, saying he was buzzed (classic!), then admitting he wasn’t the biggest, strongest guy but that he and his team got there through honest, hard work. When I asked “What did your Dad say to you after you won?” and Brad said “We did it!” and laughed, I thought, that’s what it’s all about.
How was the reaction you received on Twitter and from co-workers, friends, family, etc?continue reading…
Editor’s note:I Follow is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone.
SportsCenter anchor Kevin Connors joined ESPN in July 2008 as an anchor for ESPNEWS. Connors just signed a multi-year contract extension with ESPN.
Kevin Connors joined ESPN in 2008 after working in New York City at WCBS-AM 880 and WCBS-TV. Kevin is a SportsCenter anchor and has served as the primary host of NBA Tonight and NBA Coast-to-Coast for the past two seasons.
A native of Rockville Centre, N.Y., Kevin attended South Side High School and was recognized as a two-time All-Nassau County basketball player. A four-year letterwinner on the Ithaca College men’s basketball team, Kevin graduated from Ithaca’s Park School of Communications in 1997. He has won four awards from The New York State Broadcasters Association.
Front Row caught up with him to talk about Twitter and what he likes most about working for ESPN.
When did you join Twitter and why? I joined in 2009 but have only been active this past year. A little late to the party, but I’m trying to make up for lost time! #helpmeincreasemyfollowers! My primary reason for joining was to interact with our viewers, something I do whenever I can.
In your bio it says you are the “Undisputed, #1 [Jimi] Hendrix & Foo Fighters fan.” Have you had any challenges to that title claim on Twitter? What’s your connection to both musicians/bands?continue reading…