ESPN PRod Pod

ESPN PR

Ever wonder how ESPN content makes you feel something – no matter the platform? ESPN Communications staff talk with ESPN content creators about their creative process, uncovering the magic behind these individuals. Guests include ESPN award-winning producers, editors, writers, designers and more.

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ESPN PRod Pod: From NFTs to “30 for 30” and Beyond, Fernandez and team Plant Seeds for Content Success
Jul 21 2022
ESPN PRod Pod: From NFTs to “30 for 30” and Beyond, Fernandez and team Plant Seeds for Content Success
Welcome to Season 2, Episode 7 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.It’s no mistake Kati Fernandez’s LinkedIn “About” section includes this key line: “Purpose-driven teammate and leader.” It’s something the Holy Cross graduate lives each and every day in her role as Director, Content Development & Integration at ESPN+ and ESPN Films.“What I pride myself in being cool at, is serving,” Fernandez tells PRod Pod host Jon McLeod. “I don't mind what we're doing. I know that I'm gonna be a great teammate, pick up the baton, look at other ways, figure out how I can be a better teammate, figure out how I can be a better employee, figure out how I can be a better daughter, sister, friend, colleague, insert the word there.”So, whether it’s immersing herself in the emerging space of NFTs for a Tom Brady project in conjunction with ESPN+’s Man in the Arena or finding ways to expand the depth of storytelling within ESPN’s “Fifty/50” Title IX inititative, Fernandez interacts with colleagues from all across Disney to ensure the amazing work being created is being creatively injected into all of the incredible platforms throughout the enterprise.Fernandez’s interests are as varied as the content she interacts with as we learn in the concluding “Fab 5” segment which is guest-hosted by ESPN Summer 2022 Intern Katera Brewer. From a track and field itch Fernandez wishes she had scratched to her favorite “30 for 30” to important work in helping youth education in her native Dominican Republic, Fernandez fills her days fulfilling that promise of being a “purpose-driven teammate and leader.”And as she shares, “milestones come and go, but what stays is what we've planted.”Kati Fernandez on LinkedIn
ESPN PRod Pod: From NFTs to “30 for 30” and Beyond, Fernandez and team Plant Seeds for Content Success
Jul 21 2022
ESPN PRod Pod: From NFTs to “30 for 30” and Beyond, Fernandez and team Plant Seeds for Content Success
Welcome to Season 2, Episode 7 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.It’s no mistake Kati Fernandez’s LinkedIn “About” section includes this key line: “Purpose-driven teammate and leader.” It’s something the Holy Cross graduate lives each and every day in her role as Director, Content Development & Integration at ESPN+ and ESPN Films.“What I pride myself in being cool at, is serving,” Fernandez tells PRod Pod host Jon McLeod. “I don't mind what we're doing. I know that I'm gonna be a great teammate, pick up the baton, look at other ways, figure out how I can be a better teammate, figure out how I can be a better employee, figure out how I can be a better daughter, sister, friend, colleague, insert the word there.”So, whether it’s immersing herself in the emerging space of NFTs for a Tom Brady project in conjunction with ESPN+’s Man in the Arena or finding ways to expand the depth of storytelling within ESPN’s “Fifty/50” Title IX inititative, Fernandez interacts with colleagues from all across Disney to ensure the amazing work being created is being creatively injected into all of the incredible platforms throughout the enterprise.Fernandez’s interests are as varied as the content she interacts with as we learn in the concluding “Fab 5” segment which is guest-hosted by ESPN Summer 2022 Intern Katera Brewer. From a track and field itch Fernandez wishes she had scratched to her favorite “30 for 30” to important work in helping youth education in her native Dominican Republic, Fernandez fills her days fulfilling that promise of being a “purpose-driven teammate and leader.”And as she shares, “milestones come and go, but what stays is what we've planted.”Kati Fernandez on LinkedIn
ESPN PRod Pod: Jammin’ with SportsCenter’s Jay Harris
Mar 10 2022
ESPN PRod Pod: Jammin’ with SportsCenter’s Jay Harris
Welcome to Season 2, Episode 4 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.Not long after time SportsCenter’s Jay Harris first picked up the bass guitar at the age of 14, he began riffing on what his future career may be.“I took one of those career aptitude tests [in high school]. . . and I scored well in the area of interpersonal skills. . .,” he tells Communications Associate Producer and PRod Pod host Jon McLeod. “I looked at the jobs listed and the third job down said ‘Journalist’. Okay that’s what I’m going to do. . . It felt like it fit. . . I had tunnel vision. I said that was what I was going to do.”Now, nearly 20 years since he joined ESPN, Harris still plays the bass but it’s the music he makes from the SC desk that has become the soundtrack of sports for hundreds of thousands of sports fans each week. And the similarities are not lost on Harris.“I try to get better every day,” he told Front Row in 2017. “If I never get to be the best, that’s fine, I’ll just keep trying to get better every day. I just enjoy playing, like I enjoy my job. If you have fun at what you’re doing, then you’re good.”By that barometer, Harris is absolutely superb and he reveals to McLeod some of his keys to the storytelling needed for high-level highlights; a July 4th shift that turned tragic upon the 2009 news of Steve McNair’s tragic death and why he sees a need to be “loud” when the facts get distorted, and, importantly, to “learn from each other.”In the concluding “Fab 5” segment with ESPN Fan Relations Senior Coordinator Kiana Lowe, Harris contemplates his dream ride (a struggle of practicality vs. reality), a Karaoke choice that would bring the Purple Rain and which SportsCenter anchors (or offspring??) would be locks for his band – maybe looking at you, Elle and Eva!
ESPN PRod Pod: Mike Foss’s Digital Impact at ESPN is NOT “Debateable”
Dec 2 2021
ESPN PRod Pod: Mike Foss’s Digital Impact at ESPN is NOT “Debateable”
Welcome to Season 2, Episode 2 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.Talk about making an impact. ESPN Vice President, Digital Production Mike Foss first arrived in Bristol, Conn., in 2017; less than five years later he oversees the burgeoning, industry-leading ESPN digital empire, including ESPN’s YouTube presence, SportsCenter on Snapchat, multiple digital studio and live (often on-site) presentations, Podcasts, ESPN+ studio offerings and the newly-launched, mid-day program, “Debateable.”As Communications Associate Producer and PRod Pod host Jon McLeod discovers, what is surely NOT debateable is how Foss and his team are impacting the way fans consume ESPN.“We had 1.2 billion views in October,” Foss tells McLeod, “no media publisher has ever done that.”And virtually every month, ESPN Digital eclipses its previous highs across key metrics. Foss shares his overall philosophy for digital content and zeroes in on the overflowing goodness of ESPN’s YouTube page, which he tells the PRod Pod, offers a “comprehensive representation of” what ESPN provides.In the concluding “Fab 5” segment with ESPN Fan Relations Senior Coordinator Kiana Lowe, Foss divulges an affection for Marvel’s Daredevil, a truism for all who partake in social media and even nearly breaks out in a rendition of his favorite Blippi tune.“The ’Excavator Song’ is a JAM,” Foss says.And that is not debateable!
Chris LaPlaca - ESPN Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Sep 9 2021
Chris LaPlaca - ESPN Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Welcome to Episode 8 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.It’s only appropriate the recording of this episode took place on Sept. 7, 2021 – 42 years to the day that ESPN first signed on as a spunky upstart in the fledgling cable industry. Soon thereafter, a bright-eyed, eager St. Bonaventure University graduate, Chris LaPlaca, joined the ESPN PR team in Bristol, Conn., recalling how his first “office” was located in a trailer with a view of a scrap metal shop.As the network developed its pioneering spirit, LaPlaca was on the ground floor of charting a course for what is now an award-winning, best-in-class PR department that employs strategic tools like websites, social media and, yes, PODCASTS in telling the story of ESPN.LaPlaca was named ESPN’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications in June 2008.  For LaPlaca, as he shares with Communications Associate Producer and PRod Pod host Jon McLeod, “relationships are what matter most” and he has built a boatload of them in over 40 years with ESPN. Additionally, LaPlaca reveals how he leans on his days in the service industry for survival in the corporate world.In the concluding “Fab 5” segment with ESPN Fan Relations Senior Coordinator Kiana Lowe, LaPlaca’s anecdotes regarding former colleague Stuart Scott and the event held on ESPN’s 40thanniversary are especially poignant discussion topics.