ESPN The Company: The Story and Lessons Behind the Most Fanatical Brand in Sports Info

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A fascinating look at ESPN and its success as a brand


ESPN The Company reveals the inside scoop on the biggest
business story in sports, detailing the creative and innovative spirit
and practices that drove the programming, products, and services of the
most powerful and prominent name in sports media. The authors provide a
behind-the-scenes perspective on how ESPN dealt with their many partners
and how they handled mistakes and missteps along the way-from the
humble beginnings of ESPN as an underrated startup to the pinnacle of
their success as a major industry player.

ESPN and other great
organizations invest in their people. They train them. They believe that
if you spend the time and resources turning talented performers into
leaders, you're going to get better organizational performance and
engender higher levels of commitment and sweat. ESPN The
Company

  • Explores the dedication to excellence
    that makes ESPN the "Worldwide Leader in Sports"
  • Reveals how
    the steps ESPN has taken to excel can be applied to whatever type of
    business you're in
  • Shares the lessons learned at ESPN about
    launching and growing a wildly successful enterprise

Engaging and informative, this entertaining guide reveals how
any company can benefit by embracing the best practices of
ESPN.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for ESPN The Company: The Story and Lessons Behind the Most Fanatical Brand in Sports:

4

Sep 02, 2019

If you're a sports fan, you'll probably enjoy this book. Using the founding and evolution of ESPN, the book showcases general business principles. For many, this might be a much more interesting way to study these kinds of things - and there are lots of fun anecdotes about the company sprinkled throughout!
2

Nov 10, 2010

I read a lot of these "corporate biography" things, and this one misses the mark. It hits the highlights, but doesn't go into any significant detail about any of the major accomplishments and industry paradigm shifts with which ESPN is routinely credited, such as the evolution of the subscription-fee model by which cable and satellite operators pay programmers. It also glosses over a lot of the battles ESPN has had with various content owners (e.g., sports leagues) and dramatically understates I read a lot of these "corporate biography" things, and this one misses the mark. It hits the highlights, but doesn't go into any significant detail about any of the major accomplishments and industry paradigm shifts with which ESPN is routinely credited, such as the evolution of the subscription-fee model by which cable and satellite operators pay programmers. It also glosses over a lot of the battles ESPN has had with various content owners (e.g., sports leagues) and dramatically understates the competitive threats ESPN has faced from the regional sports networks operated by News Corp., and Comcast.

In short, the book is little more than a self-congratulatory missive by a former consultant to the company who seems particularly interested in showing off -- the book is peppered with statements that amount to "I know more about this than I can say here without betraying confidences, but trust me, if I could tell you, you'd think I'm really cool."

As one other reviewer said, this book reads as though it's the book Disney's corporate marketing folks wanted written. In that regard, it was very similar to Clear Vision's treatment of Clear Channel, though the copyright to that book is held by Clear Channel, so it's not as though it was a huge surprise. In contrast, this book is marketed as a real book from a real publisher.

Unfortunately it's little more than a real disappointment. ...more
5

Mar 26, 2011

It was interesting to learn of the history of Entertainment Sports Network. I never knew the company was owned by an oil company (Getty Oil) at one point. I also never realized how many management changes they had been or how the founder only worked there for about a year. This book was an excellent recap of the last 30+ years of how the company grew, and grew fast. While overall the book was good there were a few points the author stated he would not discuss which I found particularly annoying. It was interesting to learn of the history of Entertainment Sports Network. I never knew the company was owned by an oil company (Getty Oil) at one point. I also never realized how many management changes they had been or how the founder only worked there for about a year. This book was an excellent recap of the last 30+ years of how the company grew, and grew fast. While overall the book was good there were a few points the author stated he would not discuss which I found particularly annoying. This behind the scenes stuff is what most of the readers came here to find out about. Anyone can read a bio of the company with a few google searches, but we pick up books like this one to have the curtain pulled back.

The chapters toward the end, especially the one where they state the purpose of ESPN (and any business for that matter) "is to make as much money as you possibly can, for as long as you can". are slanted toward business more than sports or entertainment. Though, looking back there are probably few people who can't pull great ideas from the business, entertainment, or sports aspects discussed here. There is something here for everyone. Excellent book, highly recommended. ...more
2

Feb 13, 2010

Absolutely toes the company line, reads like the kind of book that the marketing execs at Disney wanted the author to write. One day, someone will write the definitive book about ESPN which will include the good, bad, serious and wretchedly hilarious tales that have become urban legend about the place...but this book here, this book ain't it.

Here is what great purpose this book serves, if you see this on some business exec's work shelf, you can rest assured that he's an uber-douche who buys Absolutely toes the company line, reads like the kind of book that the marketing execs at Disney wanted the author to write. One day, someone will write the definitive book about ESPN which will include the good, bad, serious and wretchedly hilarious tales that have become urban legend about the place...but this book here, this book ain't it.

Here is what great purpose this book serves, if you see this on some business exec's work shelf, you can rest assured that he's an uber-douche who buys into hyper-competitive sports as the metaphor for life and probably thinks he's the Wayne Gretzky of his field. Pass on the guy. Pass on the book. ...more
4

Apr 04, 2014

ESPN is my favorite cable channel by far and this book did an excellent job of detailing the history of the company from the early 1970's til the turn of the century.
4

Jun 21, 2012

A great book about the history behind ESPN's success. You'll find out information you would have never know watching the broadcasts daily.

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