This year’s espnW: Women + Sports Summit, presented by Toyota, will be virtual on Tuesday, October 20 & Wednesday, October 21, and will once again showcase inspiring figures in sports, business and entertainment with keynotes, conversations and panel discussions. As with all espnW Summits, movement and wellness will be woven into the virtual experience. The Summit will run from 2 – 6 p.m. ET each day and registration is free at espnWsummit.com. As part of the registration process, espnW is encouraging participants to consider donating to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. To learn more about the V Foundation and its mission to achieve Victory Over Cancer®, visit https://www.v.org/espnw. Toyota, Gatorade and Wells Fargo are returning sponsors, and AT&T joins as a first-time sponsor of the event.
The Summit will kick off with opening remarks from SportsCenter anchor and Summit co-host Sage Steele, her co-host, espnW columnist and ESPN commentator Sarah Spain and ESPN senior vice president of marketing & founder of espnW Laura Gentile. The annual Women in Leadership panel will follow, hosted by Steele and featuring Kate Johnson, head of global sports & entertainment marketing, Google; Monica Rustgi-Mody, vice president, marketing, Budweiser and Shiz Suzuki, assistant vice president, sponsorships & experiential marketing, AT&T. ESPN anchor Maria Taylor will then host the World-Class Athlete Conversation, featuring Olympic gold medalist and Team Toyota athlete Simone Manuel.
“The espnW Summit has long been a source of inspiration and connection. While we can’t bring everyone together in person, it is especially important, in the current moment, to create such a vital sense of community virtually,” said Laura Gentile, ESPN senior vice president, marketing. “The lineup for this year’s Summit is better than ever and showcases diverse voices and inspiring women who will bring their ideas and insights to advance women in sports.”
The first afternoon on Tuesday will provide a focus on Mental Health in Sports with 4x NBA All-Star and mental health advocate DeMar DeRozan hosted by Spain; a conversation on Creating a Player-first League with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and basketball analyst LaChina Robinson; and a discussion with Chelsea Clinton and Julie Foudy about Clinton’s latest book, “She Persisted in Sports.” Wrapping up day one will be a Summit Sweat Session, presented by Gatorade, with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson. Presenting sponsor Toyota will also be sponsoring the “Summit Top Five,” during which the hosts will give their top five takeaways and memorable moments from the day’s events.
On Wednesday, espnW and The Collective will present “Passionate Sports Fans: Everything You Need to Know about Women Who Love Sports” with ESPN’s senior director, strategic and brand insights, Flora Kelly and Shelley Pisarra, executive vice president, global insights at Wasserman. espnW columnist and ESPN soccer commentator Julie Foudy will host a virtual episode of her hit podcast “Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy” with Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman, where they will discuss her championing of women’s sports, ownership of the newest NWSL team, Angel City FC, and her new children’s book, “Natalie Portman’s Fables.”
Also on Wednesday, The Summit will spotlight a discussion between The Undefeated’s Kelley Carter and acclaimed filmmaker and activist dream hampton on the experience of black women in entertainment, followed by a conversation with Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach, moderated by Sarah Spain, to discuss what comes after a successful career for female athletes.
Rounding out the afternoon will be a Summit Wellness Session, again presented by Gatorade, with Gunnar Peterson; an espnW Keynote Conversation with Dany Garcia, chairwoman and CEO, The Garcia Companies, co-founder, Seven Bucks Companies and co-owner, XFL and Sage Steele; and “The Women of ESPN: Journeys and Challenges” panel featuring Suzy Kolber, Molly Qerim Rose, Tony Collins, Malika Andrews and Elle Duncan, with an introduction from ESPN president, Jimmy Pitaro. During the panel, there will be an “Office Hours” Q&A, sponsored by Wells Fargo, where attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions using the #espnWsummit hashtag.
Interviews, photos and additional content will be posted to espnW.com throughout the Summit. In addition, this year’s experience will be livestreamed from start to finish and can be viewed by registering at espnWsummit.com, and via Twitter and the ESPN App. For more information about The espnW: Women + Sports Summit and to see the complete agenda, please visit espnWsummit.com or follow us on Twitter with @espnW and #espnWsummit.