Sports Entertainment Meets Family Vacation Destination

Alignment of Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN represents exciting intersection of sports and entertainment

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — What launched with a single cable network on Sept. 7, 1979, is now ESPN, Inc., the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets, including six domestic networks, 46 international networks and more than 50 business entities. Today, ESPN delivers sports programming to more than 200 countries and territories on all seven continents across a variety of platforms – television, wireless, interactive, print, radio, broadband, event management and consumer products – all with the hopes of fulfilling its original mission of serving sports fans.

In 1996, The Walt Disney Company, under CEO Michael Eisner, acquired Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., which included 80 percent of ESPN.  In 2005, Robert Iger was named CEO of The Walt Disney Co. – after serving as president and COO since 2000 – and continues to oversee ESPN today. In one momentous deal, Disney and ESPN changed the entire landscape of sports and entertainment, combining the sport expertise of ESPN with the creativity and the guest-experience capabilities of Disney.

A Field of Dreams Fully Realized

Today, the newly renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort represents the perfect intersection of sports and entertainment – Disney’s sports complex as the leading multi-sport venue in the nation combining with ESPN’s stature as the preeminent sports entertainment media outlet in the world.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex marks the latest collaboration between the two powerful brands. The two companies have worked together successfully in the past on such events as the X Games Trials, the Old Spice Classic NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and ESPN RISE Games.