Episode 7: ESPN – Social Media and Production

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF LIFE AT DISNEY

To serve sports fans, anytime, anywhere, is the mission of ESPN. As the go-to stop for all sports coverage, we sit down with two ESPN employees, Jett Watkins, Social Media Specialist II and Sania Blu, Associate Producer at ESPN Next, who share that it is not all about the final score, but the stories that EPSN tells. We hear about how ESPN handles breaking news – like when Tom Brady announced he was retiring – tips on how you can improve your content skills, and the different job areas you get to work in when you join the ESPN Next program.

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MEET YOUR HOSTS

Ashley Siegel
Ashley Siegel, Outreach & Engagement Director

An intersectional diversity, equity, and inclusion champion, Ashley Siegel leads the Walt Disney Company’s Outreach and Engagement global strategy development and implementation. Working at the intersection of Talent Acquisition, DEI, and Corporate Social Responsibility, their organization’s cross-functional responsibilities span relationship formation and management of nonprofit and community partnerships, full event lifecycle creation and execution, community building and connection facilitation, and elevation of Disney’s beloved brands and businesses.

 

Tony Williams
Tony Williams, Senior Manager, Diversity Recruiting Programs

Tony joined the Disney family via Hulu in 2020 to stand up for Hulu’s Community Program to expand how we think about talent and where it comes from. He’s guided by the idea that “talent is distributed equally, opportunity is not.” In his role as Sr. Manager, Diversity Recruiting Programs, Tony Williams leads our efforts to build a workforce that reflects the beautifully diverse audiences we serve. Currently, Tony helps leaders across The Walt Disney Company think differently about inclusion and hiring.


ABOUT THE GUESTS

Jett Watkins

Jett Watkins joined ESPN in August 2021 as a social specialist and has enjoyed every second of it. It has always been his dream to work for EPSN, and to be actually doing it, doesn’t think he will ever get over it. Working for the company is surreal for Jett. After working hard and soaking up the knowledge of his colleagues, Jett was promoted in April 2021 to a social media specialist II.

Jett is a strategic social specialist based out of Conneticut with more than six years of experience with a specialization in sports content. He’d led executions of a variety of different events, including the Heisman Trophy Ceremony and the NFL Draft.

He is also a die-hard Eagles fan who has watched the 2018 Super Bowl more times than he should admit.

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Adobe Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing software application developed by Adobe Inc. and published as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud licensing program. First launched in 2003, Adobe Premiere Pro is a successor of Adobe Premiere (first launched in 1991). It is geared towards professional video editing, while its sibling, Adobe Premiere Elements, targets the consumer market.
  • Emma Raducanu is a British professional tennis player. She reached a career-high ranking of No. 11 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on 25 April 2022 and is the current British no. 1. Raducanu is the reigning US Open champion and the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade in the 1977 Wimbledon Championships.
  • ESPN has up-to-the-minute sports news coverage, scores, highlights, and commentary for NFL, MLB, NBA, College Football, NCAA Basketball, and more.
  • ESPN headquarters is located in Bristol, Connecticut. The incorporated business runs out of the corporate office.
  • ESPN Social Channels:
  • Heisman Ceremony annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
  • LaBron James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nicknamed “King James“, he is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time.
  • Leylah Fernandez is a Canadian professional tennis player. She has a career-high ranking of no. 18 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), achieved on May 9, 2022.
  • Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS.
  • Sportscenter is a daily sports news television program that serves as the flagship program and brand of American cable and satellite television network ESPN. The show covers various sports teams and athletes from around the world and often shows highlights of sports from the day.
  • Stephen Anthony Smith is an American sports television personality, sports radio host, and sports journalist. He is a commentator on ESPN’s First Take, where he appears with Molly Qerim. He also makes frequent appearances as an NBA analyst on SportsCenter.
  • Tom Brady is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, where he was a central contributor to the franchise’s dynasty from 2001 to 2019. Brady is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time.
  • The US Open is a hardcourt tennis tournament. Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year.

 

Sania Blu

Sania Blu is an impact-centric storyteller, multimedia journalist, and sports producer. Her passion for sports storytelling led Sania to the Missouri School of Journalism where she achieved a bachelor’s of sports broadcast and minors in sociology and black studies. Sania is now a Production Assistant at ESPN where she’s produced content for the ESPYs, NFL Draft, NFL Live, and for several Black History Always features on ESPN+, one of which received an Emmy nomination. At the core of her work, Sania looks forward to telling authentic stories about real people making a true impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Andscape (formerly The Undefeated) is a sports and pop culture website owned and operated by ESPN. Officially launched on May 17, 2016, the site describes itself as “the premier platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports, and culture.”
  • ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in Sports is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities.
  • ESPN Next is a leadership development program for young professionals based in content. They offer two rotations where participants will work in 2 of our 7 different available pods.
  • Jimmy Pitaro is an American media executive and attorney. On March 5, 2018, The Walt Disney Company announced he would become president of ESPN Inc. Pitaro graduated from Cornell’s College of Human Ecology with a bachelor of science in consumer economics and housing. He was a player on the Cornell Big Red football team. He earned his Juris Doctor from St. John’s University Law School in 1994. He previously worked for Yahoo’s Media division, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, and Disney Interactive. Since 1997, he has been married to actress Jean Louisa Kelly. On October 12, 2020, his position changed to Chairman, ESPN, and Sports Content.
  • The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization of African-American journalists, students, and media professionals. Founded in 1975 in Washington, D.C., by 44 journalists, the NABJ’s stated purpose is to provide quality programs and services to and advocate on behalf of black journalists. The organization has worked for diversity and to increase the number of minorities in newsrooms across the country.
  • NFL Live with Host Laura Rutledge takes the helm of this weekday show featuring the likes of Marcus Spears, Dan Orlovsky, Keyshawn Johnson, Mina Kimes, and Adam Schefter. The “NFL Live” crew entertains fans while offering all the latest news and analysis from across the NFL. 

 


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