Newsroom Archive

May 17, 2016

2016 WISE Champion Announced



Rebecca Timms
United Entertainment Group
(212) 738-6068



Annual Award Recognizes Male Executive who has Championed Women in the Workplace

May 17, 2016 (New York, NY) — Women in Sports and Events (WISE), the leading voice and resource for women in the business of sports, today announced that John Skipper, president, ESPN, Inc. and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, will be presented with the 2016 WISE Champion Award during this year's WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City, emceed by legendary television anchor and journalist Jane Pauley.

The WISE Champion Award annually recognizes a male executive who has championed the advancement of women in the workplace. Past recipients of the WISE Champion Award include Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group; Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports; Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports; and Dick Ebersol, former chairman of NBC Sports.

"We are thrilled to honor John for his dedication to support and mentor women of all professional levels at ESPN," said Kathleen Francis, national chair of WISE. "Through his investment in the people and culture of ESPN, John has elevated women to the most senior levels across these brands and established an important legacy for our industry. We are proud to honor him as we spotlight his leadership on behalf of women in sports."

An 18-year veteran of ESPN, Skipper rose to his current role as president of the network and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks in January 2012. At ESPN's helm, he has further established their leadership in the sports media landscape, playing an integral role in securing a series of long-term, multiplatform agreements with major rights holders and distributors, and embracing technology to serve sports fans in new and innovative ways.

"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of everyone at ESPN," said Skipper. "We have long recognized that ESPN benefits by taking advantage of 100% of the talent pool. We strive to create a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace so that we can create the best content for fans. To be recognized for the progress we have made so far with women is very gratifying." 

Recipients of the WISE Champion Award are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Champions the role of women in the business of sports through the successful creation of new jobs, mentoring and networking opportunities
  • Clearly communicates a vision for women in the industry and their continued advancement
  • Shows consistent commitment to the promotion of women's careers and recognition of their professional accomplishments

As previously announced, the 2016 recipients of the WISE Women of the Year awards are Renie Anderson, SVP sponsorship and partnership management, NFL; Kathy Behrens, president, social responsibility and player programs, NBA; and Karen Brodkin, president, business affairs, WME | IMG.

More information about the 2016 WISE Women of the Year Awards Luncheon, set for Wednesday, June 22 at the New York Marriott Marquis, can be found at WISEworks.org.

About WISE
WISE (Women in Sports and Events), is the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports. Through ongoing meetings, special events, and mentoring and educational programs, WISE aims to offer its members the opportunity to gain valuable industry insights and connections that can provide them with a competitive advantage in their current position and as they advance in their careers. Founded in 1993, WISE is a national membership organization and registered 501(c)3 public charity headquartered in New York City, with chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, NYC Metro, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco/Bay Area, South Florida and Washington, D.C. For more information on WISE, please visit WISEworks.org.