June 3, 2020 – If you are unaware of the ESPNW Summit here is a short background summary. 10 years ago, Laura Gentile proposed the idea of a networking event hosted in a major hot spot location. At the event a variety of women in the industry spoke on their experiences in the working world of sports, how they obtained their roles and the obstacles. Over the years, the event has grown immensely – and for good reason. It provides women a neutral ground to connect away from the corporate environment and build relationships whether they be professional and personal.
I was fortunate enough to attend the event in October in Pelican Bay (which was AMAZING and hot.) The event in Canada which was planned for June 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. Rather than eliminate the event all together Gentile and Jodi Markley, VP of Content Operations for ESPN got together and brainstormed a way to host the event virtually. What a success it was!
Sarah Spain, well known for her witty responses and hilarious personality emceed the event from her living room thanks to the help of the ESPN production crew.
How did ESPN arrange the summit exactly? Markley explained how the production team installed the proper cameras, lightening, and audio equipment for those involved. There were no glitches aside from a few delayed videos, but that might have to do with the 13,000+ streamers across the country.
To open the summit, Spain spoke with two intelligent leaders in the industry, CMO of the NBA Kate Jhavari and Lisa Joseph Metelus, CAA. Both women discuss how they’ve adapted to life during COVID-19, what they do to keep themselves sane and how their day-to-day jobs have adjusted in this time. If there is one section of the summit you’d like to catch up on, this discussion is the one.
Sabrina Ionescu discussed her excitement for the season in New York, Simone Biles covered her training for the 2021 Olympics with Julie Foudy (praying there is one) and Crystal Dunn from the USWNT talked about she has taken up gardening with her husband.
Another hilarious conversation between Mina Kimes. Katie Nolan and Sarah Spain (my favorite trio). They discussed the difficulties of being a woman in the industry and how frequently they are put down from the masses in social media. Nolan has this hilarious skit called the “Secret Society of Women,” that covers what women in sports experience from the male audience.
In addition to a guided meditation led by Lizzi Cutler and workout from Dr. Jordan Metzl, the summit covered all the bases. If you didn’t catch it live ESPN has cut the summit into each section you can successfully watch here.