(The following announcement was made by The Maxwell Football Club)
Southampton, PA – The Maxwell Football Club (MFC) is pleased to announce ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer as the 22nd recipient of the Francis J. “Reds” Bagnell Award for contributions to the game of football.
Mr. Bodenheimer, who joined ESPN in January 1981 – 16 months after the network launched – has served as the company’s president since 1998. In March 2003, he was additionally appointed President of ABC Sports, and, one year later, was named co-chairman for Disney Media Networks.
“Under George’s stewardship, the ESPN and ABC family of networks has developed innovative programming that has changed the way people watch the game,” offered MFC Executive Director Mark Wolpert. “With the implementation of new technical innovations and a commitment to developing multiplatform digital media offerings, George ensures that ESPN consistently raises the bar on how the game is presented to viewers. The Maxwell Football Club is honored to recognize George’s lifetime commitment to excellence with the presentation of the Francis ‘Reds’ Bagnell Award for contributions to football at all levels.”
ESPN, Inc., 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, including ESPN on ABC; seven U.S. cable networks (four with high-definition simulcast services) – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and ESPN 3D; ESPN Radio; ESPN.com; and 46 international networks reaching all seven continents.
Mr. Bodenheimer’s sharp focus on creativity and cutting-edge innovation, his commitment to serving the interests of leagues and fans through all available platforms, and his conviction for teamwork have been the hallmarks of his leadership at ESPN. During the 2010 college football season, more than 400 games – including 33 bowl games and all five Bowl Championship Series games, including the BCS National Championship – will be televised across the ESPN networks. In addition, ESPN continues to break viewership records with its presentation of the NFL’s iconic Monday Night Football franchise. It is estimated that in any given week during the fall, a combined audience of nearly 90 million watch college football games and MNF across the ESPN networks.
Mr. Bodenheimer, 52, graduated from Denison University in 1980 with a B.A. in Economics.
“The Reds Bagnell Award is a tremendous honor and a testament to the hard work, dedication and passion of thousands of ESPN employees who work tirelessly year after year to serve sports fans with the very best football coverage,” added Bodenheimer.
The MFC established the Bagnell Award in 1989 to honor lifetime contributions to football. Former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle was the first recipient; longtime and retiring Maxwell Club Executive Director Robert T. Clark received the award last year.
The Award’s namesake, Francis “Reds” Bagnell, starred for the University of Pennsylvania as a multi-threat single-wing back. Mr. Bagnell won the 1950 Maxwell Award. The MFC elected Mr. Bagnell as their President in 1976. One year later, Mr. Bagnell was elected to the National Football Foundation’s College Hall of Fame. Bagnell, who passed away in 1995, was a successful businessman and a fixture in the Philadelphia community.
Mr. Bodenheimer is the fifth member of the media industry to receive the Bagnell Award and the second from ESPN. (Chris Berman was honored with the award in 2001.) A sixth winner, 2002 honoree Pat Summerall, earned the Bagnell Award for contributions as both a player and a broadcaster.
Mr. Bodenheimer will receive the Bagnell Award on March 4th, 2011 at the MFC’s National Awards Dinner at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
Founded in 1935, the Maxwell Football Club is committed to “honoring football at all levels” and serving the community. Much of the MFC’s philanthropy focuses on helping young people realize their potential as leaders both now and in the future.
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