One thing that’s always struck me is our commitment to regularly reviewing the experiences we provide to our guests and challenging ourselves to bring new opportunities to life. Occasionally, this results in something coming to an end, as is the case with what I’m sharing today. In order to focus our efforts on ESPN’s growing year-round presence at Walt Disney World Resort, we have decided to no longer host ESPN The Weekend.
As you may know, the event was first created in 2004 in support of ESPN’s 25th anniversary and, along with ESPN Club, served as ESPN’s first significant presence here. While the event has continued for seven more successful years, our relationship with ESPN has evolved significantly and positively. This has resulted in new branding for the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, new opportunities for millions of athletes, coaches and fans, and hundreds of hours of ESPN programming, making our guests part of the show. In addition, the sports complex has become home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, which is the official development hub for ESPN’s 3D network.
Moving forward, our focus will be on creating events like the new ESPN RISE Girls Showcase and the ESPN RISE Games, which provide a stage for tens of thousands of athletes from around the country, and providing opportunities for guests to be part of events they’ve only before watched on television, such as the Home Depot College Football Awards and the Old Spice Classic.
We have just scratched the surface of what Walt Disney World and ESPN can do together and look forward to sharing information about new projects as they progress.