The MVP: A Conversation with Grace Coryell
(Image courtesy of Grace Coryell's Instagram)
Growing up, my exposure to sports came from watching The Florida Panther's hockey games on television or in person. Maybe it was the chill in the air, the ample supply of candy, or spending time with my dad, but hockey made me fall in love with sports. In college, I had friends in the sports business minor. They would describe the intricate world of a team's operations, communications, and administration. In graduate school, I created this blog not realizing its potential. I quickly learned how sharing others' stories made for more interesting pieces. I promise that this is probably one of my most interesting pieces yet.
(A picture of my Dad and I at a Florida Panther's game)
The blog allowed me to master the art of the "cold email" (the same premise of a cold call). I send messages to people and organizations I can only dream about meeting. I sent one of these emails to Grace Coryell. I had the opportunity to interview Coryell, Associate Director of Communications at ESPN, and learned about the wonderful world of sports communication at ESPN.
(Logo Courtesy of ESPN)
1. What is your career story?
In college, I loved The X-Games, so I volunteered for two events. After college,
Disney (our parent company) changed the policy from accepting volunteers to
creating an internship program. I applied and luckily got one of the three
positions. After the internship program, I became a part of ESPN Communications, which allowed me to work on more properties besides X Games.ESPN owns The X Games and is headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut. I continued to work in Los Angeles in downtown LA upon becoming part of ESPN Comms, so the team became part of the West Coast Comms representatives. .
(Image courtesy of Mediawix)
2. Why does everyone want to work at ESPN?
ESPN did it first and well. ESPN is the first 24-hour sports network. Since its inception, ESPN has established itself in this realm through its technological innovations (pylon cams, fly cams), connecting directly to the consumer (ESPN+), and innovating across the media landscape.
(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)
3. With the addition of Westbrook to the Lakers and other current events happening on the west coast, how does ESPN cover those stories differently then East Coast and Midwest Sports?
Our production studio is located in Downtown Los Angeles and shares the same plaza with The Staples Center (where The Clippers and Lakers play). ESPN produces shows such as the NBA Countdown, The Jump, and Sports Center from the Los Angeles Production studio. This proximity has allowed Los Angeles teams to showcase their talent like the Lakers with Russell Westbrook as well as provides the West Coast teams amplified coverage.
(Image courtesy of https://www.nba.com/lakers/releases/lakers-acquire-russell-westbrook-2021)
4. What are some tips for people wanting to enter this field?
Volunteering and networking can help get you into this circle. In my personal experience, my volunteer opportunities enabled me to meet people with the same passions and interests. At ESPN, we do a great job of offering internships.
(Image courtesy of Mediawix)
5. How does the ESPN recognize people for the ESPYS?
The ESPYS reflect the intersection of sports and culture. It celebrates the year’s best athletes and moments in sports. Each year, the ESPYS also recognize individuals in the world of sports that have demonstrated perseverance, courage and strength in the face of adversity with marquee awards.
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
This piece would not have been possible with out the help one of my friend, Brett S. Brett provided me with the Spark-notes version of the sports world current events and cultural shifts. Thank you Brett for your help!
(Gif courtesy of wix.com )