Global Correspondent and Senior Writer
Award-winning journalist Sam Borden joined ESPN in February 2017 as a writer and television contributor. He is a global correspondent and senior writer focused on enterprise and investigative stories about sports ranging from international soccer to the NFL, the Olympics to the NBA. Borden has traveled to over 40 countries, and his written work appears on ESPN.com and, formerly, in ESPN The Magazine, while his television stories air on E:60, Outside The Lines, SC Featured and SportsCenter.
Borden’s notable journalism and multiplatform storytelling at ESPN has included an Emmy-nominated piece on Chapecoense, a Brazilian soccer team whose plane crashed – killing 71 of 77 people on board – under suspicious circumstances while the team was traveling to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final in Medellin, Colombia. The written story won an APSE award, was nominated for the Dan Jenkins Medal and was anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing. Of note, Borden also filed an investigation into the violent underworld of Russian hooliganism before the 2018 World Cup, a cover story for ESPN The Magazine on Lionel Messi, and an E:60 profile of Darko Milicic, the former NBA bust who became an apple farmer.
Borden has also reported from a variety of major global sports events for ESPN, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the Yankees-Red Sox games in London, the 2018 Olympics in South Korea, the FIFA presidential election and several U.S. National Team games.
Prior to ESPN, Borden was a sports reporter at The New York Times from 2011-17 focused on international soccer and the NFL. During that time, he was The Times sports section’s first European correspondent, based in Paris from 2013-16. He traveled the continent to report features and investigations and was part of the team that won numerous awards for investigative efforts in the FIFA corruption scandals. He also wrote several award-winning features, including a profile of the last man to beat Floyd Mayweather and his spiral into poverty in rural Bulgaria, and contributed to coverage of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.
Borden began his journalism career in 2002 as the Yankees beat writer for the New York Daily News. He was also a sports columnist at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville (2006-08) before moving onto a columnist position at The Journal News from 2008-11.
Borden’s E:60 piece on the Nigerian women’s bobsled team from the Pyeongchang Olympics won a Gracie Award for best sports feature in 2019, while his Russian hooligans story was part of the E:60 submission that won an Emmy for best sports anthology in 2018. In addition, Borden’s writing has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing series on several occasions and he has won numerous awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual writing contests, including one during each year he served as a New York Times foreign correspondent.
A native of Larchmont, N.Y., Borden earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Jewish studies from Emory University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Fairfield University.
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