ESPN Edge Innovation Center to Host Inaugural Conference Wednesday, September 29


ESPN Edge Innovation Center to Host Inaugural Conference Wednesday, September 29

Featured Speakers Include Lindsey Vonn, Blake Griffin, Kaylee Hartung, Jimmy Pitaro and Mark L. Walker

What:   ESPN Edge Innovation will host an inaugural virtual event, the ESPN Edge Conference, on Wednesday, Sept. 29. The conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET, with Kevin Negandhi and Christine Williamson guiding the segments throughout the virtual event.

Speakers including Lindsey Vonn, Blake Griffin, Kaylee Hartung, Jimmy Pitaro and Mark L. Walker will discuss key topics including sports rights in the streaming age, reimagining the fan experience and more.

The full agenda for the conference:

Time (E.T.) Topic Speaker(s)
10 a.m. Welcome

Neghandi and Williamson will welcome attendees to the inaugural ESPN Edge Conference.

Kevin Neghandi

SportsCenter Anchor


Christine Williamson

ESPN Host & Reporter


10:05 a.m. Vision of ESPN Edge

Walker explores the vision for the ESPN Edge Innovation Center, ESPN’s history of innovation, and how to collectively drive innovation.


Mark Walker

SVP, Content Business Development and Innovation, ESPN


10:10 a.m. Sports Rights & Streaming

Walker and Pitaro discuss content consumption’s evolution and the future of streaming and sports rights as it relates to ESPN.


Jimmy Pitaro

Chairman, ESPN & Sports Content, The Walt Disney Company


Mark Walker

SVP, Content Business Development and Innovation, ESPN


10:25 a.m. Accenture: Unlocking Potential with New Experiences

Schybergson explains why now is the time to reimagine sports and entertainment experiences to center around people’s values, desires and expectations—and why experience is the key to unlocking meaningful growth and differentiation.


Olof Schybergson

Chief Experience Officer, Accenture


10:40 a.m. Verizon 5G’s Changing the Game for Sports

Mecum and McPherson discuss how 5G will transform the fan experience and player training and performance. The Phoenix Suns describe how 5G has helped the team with advanced analytics in real-time.

Brian Mecum

Vice President, Device Technology, Verizon


Erin McPherson

Head of Consumer Content and Partnerships at Verizon


10:55 a.m. Athlete 3.0

Hartung, Griffin, Katz and Vonn discuss innovating on the field and off as they navigate business ventures, social initiatives and more.


Kaylee Hartung

Correspondent, ABC News


Anthony Katz

Founder, Hyperice


Blake Griffin

Power Forward, Brooklyn Nets


Lindsey Vonn

World Cup Alpine Ski Champion & U.S. Olympian


11:20 a.m. Empowering Everyone: When We All Play, We All Win

Microsoft + ESPN empowers innovation to ignite the fan in all of us. CVP Sarah Bond takes us on a brief history of Microsoft’s work with LaLiga and the Miami Heat to demonstrate where we’ve been and where we are going next in elevating the fan experience, bringing accessibility and future-forward focus into everything we build in the Edge Innovation Center. The partnership expands fan engagement across new mediums, new businesses, and new audiences.


Sarah Bond

CVP, Game Creator Experience & Ecosystem at Microsoft.


11:40 a.m. Reimagining the Fan Experience

In today’s digitized world, the modern sports fan has completely different expectations for what they want in exchange for their time, attention, and money. Today, sports fans aren’t content to merely watch a game – they want to fully experience it through enhanced, even personalized interactions. What does the new fan look like? How does technology change the future of in-person and virtual experiences to create a more immersive and rewarding experience?


Christine Williamson

ESPN Host & Reporter


Brandon Schneider

President & Chief Operating Officer, Golden State Warriors


Erin McPherson

Head of Consumer Content & Partnerships, Verizon


Mickey Maher

SVP of Partnerships, DapperLabs


12:05 p.m. Keynote: Pushing Beyond

Ismail is a globally respected author and business strategist with a quantum physics and philosophy background. He’s a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and Chairman of ExO Works and OpenExO, where he shares his expertise on Exponential Organizations. Salim will take the day’s discussion a step beyond with his entertaining, irreverent, and insightful point of view on how to go from incremental innovation to 10X improvements by implementing groundbreaking technologies that achieve large-scale social impact.


Salim Ismail

Co-founder & Chairman, OpenExO


12:25 p.m. Cutting-Edge ESPN Projects

This segment will provide an overview on what’s to come from the ESPN Edge Innovation Center, including ESPN’s partnership with ShotTracker. ESPN will leverage ShotTracker’s sub-second, 3-dimensional basketball data and analytics to drive quality storytelling, data-driven broadcast automation, and high-value brand sponsorships.


Sean Hanrahan

SVP, Sports Brand Solutions, Disney Advertising Sales


Davyeon Ross

Co-Founder & President, DDSports / ShotTracker, Inc.


Earlier this month, ESPN launched the ESPN Edge Innovation Center, aiming to collaborate with other leaders in technology to explore how new technologies like 5G, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and mobile edge computing (MEC) can enable new ways for fans to experience sports. The ESPN Edge Innovation Center will include key partnerships in the categories of technology, consulting, connectivity and hardware.

When: Wednesday, September 29, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET

Where: The virtual event will be accessible at

How:    To attend the virtual event, please register at


Media Contacts:

Katina Arnold
(860) 912-6643
[email protected]

Olivia Wilson
(904) 303-3538
[email protected]

Olivia Coryell

Based out of Austin, Texas, Olivia Coryell is a communications manager focusing on ESPN+, The Walt Disney Company's leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. In her time at ESPN, Coryell has worked on communications efforts for X Games, Brand Marketing, Corporate Citizenship, esports and more. Coryell is a proud graduate of Florida State University.
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