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SXSW Interactive 2014

Media & The Personal Brand - ESPN, Grantland & 538

In the past three years, ESPN has launched Grantland, based on the writings and vision of Bill Simmons. The company just announced the hiring of Nate Silver and the acquisition of his blog, 538. As a company known for sports, how does ESPN incubate this kind of independent thought within its larger brand?

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  1. How do you foster independent thought within the confines of an established brand?
  2. How do transfer an audience from the established, umbrella brand to one with a different vertical? How do you build a new one?
  3. How does one maintain the personal brand within the larger context?
  4. How does the medium impact the way you reach your audience?
  5. Has Grantland proven that long form writing has a place and an audience on the web?


  • Nate Silver, Renowned Statistician, Author and Founder of FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight.com
  • Bill Simmons, ESPN Columnist, Special Contributor and Editor-in-Chief of Grantland.com; ABC/ESPN NBA Analyst, ESPN


Amy Phillips, Sr Dir Communications, ESPN

Meta Information:

  • Tags: journalism, sports
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Content and Distribution
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced
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