Seventh Annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit Welcomes Key Industry Influencers and Athletes


Seventh Annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit Welcomes Key Industry Influencers and Athletes

Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, Hearst’s Joanna Coles and gold medalists Maya DiRado and Maggie Steffens among this year’s speakers

espnW will again bring together sports industry leaders and top female athletes for the seventh annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota from October 13-15, at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif. The two-day conference will include panels, keynotes, work sessions, presentations and activities geared towards advancing the agenda of women in sports and focused around the “Vision, Action, Impact” theme.

Highlighting the event this year will be several of the gold medal-winning women from this year’s Summer Olympics including Maya DiRado (swimmer), Kayla Harrison (judo), Ashleigh Johnson and Maggie Steffens (water polo), Helen Maroulis (wrestler), Dalilah Muhammad (track & field), who will participate in the “In Pursuit of Excellence: World-Class Athletes of the Rio Olympics” panel on Friday, Oct. 14. Also, softball player Monica Abbott – who made history by earning the first million-dollar contract in professional softball – and transgender triathlete Chris Mosier will each speak about breaking barriers as elite athletes. Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time major marathon winner, will discuss her career and success in a “W Power Talk” on Thursday, Oct. 13. Award-winning American poet and author Nikky Finney will give two original performances during the event.

“We’re extremely proud of the quality and depth within this year’s Summit programming,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, espnW & Women’s Initiatives. “The dialogue surrounding women in sports has evolved and expanded since we created the first-ever Women + Sports Summit six years ago. The conversation is more vital and relevant than ever before, and we continue to drive forward, with all of our attendees, for greater progress.”

On Friday, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts will sit down with espnW’s Julie Foudy for a keynote interview, “Embracing the Journey.” Additionally, industry leaders like Hearst Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles, WME/IMG executive Jill Smoller and LA Clippers President of Basketball Operations Gillian Zucker will offer their insights on various panels regarding the ever-changing business of sports.

Other panels will include:

  • “Mean Tweets + Social Media Harassment”;
  • “Women in Leadership: The Female Advantage”; and
  • “Building Women’s + Girls’ Brands: Promoting Self-Esteem, Confidence and Empowerment.”

Joining this year’s Summit will be espnW’s Kavitha Davidson, Kate Fagan, Jane McManus, Alyssa Roenigk and Sarah Spain; SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion; ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza; NBA Countdown host Sage Steele; His & Hers host Jemele Hill; and The Undefeated’s Kelley Carter. In addition, ESPN President John Skipper and Executive Vice President / CFO Christine Driessen will address attendees.

The espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the only one of its kind in the industry. Through structured and thoughtful conversation, the event pushes the boundaries on topics surrounding women and women in sports, and has offered insight from such notable and groundbreaking names as: civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, phenom pitching ace Mo’Ne Davis, tennis legend and civil rights activist Billie Jean King, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, NBA Players’ Association President Michele Roberts, journalist and philanthropist Maria Shriver, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, soccer star Abby Wambach and more.

Interviews, photos and additional content will be posted to throughout the Summit. In addition, this year’s conference will be livestreamed from start to finish on ESPN3. Additional participants and details will be announced closer to the Summit. For more information about The espnW: Women + Sports Summit and to see the complete agenda visit or follow on Twitter with @espnW and #espnWsummit.

About espnW

espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports., the brand’s content home, offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style.  espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in July 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, now in its seventh year, brings together top athletes and industry leaders for meaningful conversations around women and sports, and is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.

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Tara Chozet

I handle PR for ESPN Radio, espnW, technology, remote operations and soccer. I received my undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and my Master’s degree from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.
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