Featured Speakers also include Michele Roberts, Val Ackerman, Willow Bay, Audrey Gelman and ESPN’s Sam Ponder, Maria Taylor, Doris Burke and Beth Mowins Discuss Breaking Barriers in Sports Media
The ninth annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit presented by Toyota will again showcase key figures in sports, business and entertainment, and will be headlined by GRAMMY-nominated singer Andra Day, retired motorsports star Danica Patrick, WNBA greats Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart, former gymnasts Jordyn Wieber and Sarah Klein – two of the Sister Survivors who spoke out against sexual abuse by their former team doctor, the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team and Maverick Carter (LeBron James’ partner in SpringHill Entertainment). The yearly gathering will take place October 1-3 at The Resort at Pelican Hill, in Newport Beach, Calif., and will include keynotes, work sessions, panels, presentations and activities focused on advancing women in sports.
On the first night of the conference, Andra Day will offer an intimate musical performance after sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with SportsCenter’s Cari Champion. Day’s debut album, Cheers to the Fall, was nominated for Best R&B Album and the single “Rise Up” was nominated for Best R&B Performance at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards. She was also nominated with rapper Common for a GRAMMY in 2017 for their song “Stand Up for Something.”
Danica Patrick will be featured in a keynote interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, also on Monday, Oct. 1. ESPN The Magazine’s Mina Kimes will conduct a keynote interview with Jordyn Wieber and Sarah Klein on Tuesday, Oct. 2, to discuss their journeys to help to bring justice to hundreds of female athletes. Carter, a childhood friend of James’, who has managed the basketball star’s career for the last 15 years and is his production partner, will have a candid one-on-one interview with Champion Tuesday evening, as part of her signature Be Honest interviews.
“The Summit always aims to further the conversation around key issues for women in sports,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, espnW, Business Operations & Content Strategy. “This year we have a lineup of powerful voices who will enable us to focus on the most relevant issues impacting women today- from the disturbing abuse of female athletes to pay equity in sports.”
On Monday, Julie Foudy will host a conversation with leaders of the gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s Hockey Team – Jocelyne Lamoureaux-Davidson, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield – about their road to gold and their fight for equality. On the final day of the conference, WNBA superstars Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker will discuss their lives and goals, on and off the court, with ESPN’s Sarah Spain.
On Tuesday, College GameDay’s Maria Taylor will join ESPN’s Doris Burke, Beth Mowins and Sam Ponder for a panel on “Breaking Barriers in Sports Media.” ESPN The Magazine and espnW editor in chief Alison Overholt will conduct a Female Founder Interview with The Wing’s Audrey Gelman, then later that evening, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro will sit down for a discussion with SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele.
Other speakers and panels will include:
- “Voices of the Future” – featuring dual-sport star Kiana Clay (adaptive motorcross and snowboarding), 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Rachel Garcia (softball), 15-year-old World Championship bronze-medalist Jade Howson (paddleboarding), and 2018 Olympian and World Junior Short Track Speed Skating gold medalist Maame Biney (speedskating);
- “The State of Journalism” – by Willow Bay, dean of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and Annenberg professors Vince Gonzalez, Stacy Smith and ESPN’s Shelley Smith;
- “World Cup Preview” – a look at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by former U.S. Women’s National Team stars and World Cup champions Julie Foudy and Kate Markgraf.
Also joining this year’s Summit will be espnW’s Allison Glock, ESPN commentator Victoria Arlen and ESPN The Magazine/espnW senior writer Alyssa Roenigk. In addition, ESPN executives Christine Driessen, Connor Schell, Laura Gentile and Alison Overholt will each formally address attendees during the Summit.
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 people as: Los Angeles Lakers owner and president Jeanie Buss, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon, 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, journalist and philanthropist Maria Shriver, Ambassador Madeline Verveer, soccer stars Mia Hamm, Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, and more.
Interviews, photos and additional content will be posted to espnW.com throughout the Summit. In addition, this year’s conference will be livestreamed from start to finish on espnW.com and via the ESPN app. For more information about The espnW: Women + Sports Summit and to see the complete agenda visit www.espnWsummit.com or follow on Twitter with @espnW and #espnWsummit.
espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com, 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 ninth 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, [email protected], (860) 766-2206, @TaraESPN
Jay Jay Nesheim, [email protected], (646) 547-5839, @JayJayN_ESPN