ESPN Prod Pod - Arda Öcal


Feb 17 2022 • 29 mins

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 3 of the ESPN PRod Pod, the official podcast of the ESPN Communications Department. The PRod Pod takes you behind ESPN’s unmatched storytelling by introducing the people behind the content – who they are, where they’re from and how they create the magic.

Arda Öcal’s first appearance on SportsCenter – a place he now calls one of his homes at ESPN – came in a most unusual way.

As he tells Communications Associate Producer and PRod Pod host Jon McLeod, Öcal never could have imagined he would go from a 2-minute television hit to the varied roles he now has for ESPN.

“We recapped everything that was happening [at the League of Legends tournament] and that [report] aired on SportsCenter, which was surreal to me, because imagine growing up loving sports and dreaming of being on SportsCenter and the first time that you ever appear on SportsCenter in the United States is for video games?!” he said. “Like no, who had, who had that as a prop bet? No one, that. . . was. . .  like plus 80,000, you know?”

But the ticket cashed and Öcal could not be more enthusiastic about the opportunities in front of him.

In the concluding “Fab 5” segment with ESPN Fan Relations Senior Coordinator Kiana Lowe, Öcal delves deeper into his inner-gamer, and humblebrags about knocking out Mike Tyson. . . in Mario Kart (true story!).