Rob King

Senior VP, SportsCenter and news, ESPN

Rob King

For helping fans follow their teams from screen to screen.

Last year, Rob King led a major redesign of the most downloaded mobile app in sports. Sports­Center is a clever and exhaustive reimagining of the earlier, scores-focused version (called Score­Center) that allows, say, Chicago fans to personalize the app around their beloved Bears, Bulls, and Cubs, and quickly get the latest video clips, stories, and stats on the go. So far, more than 16 million people have used it. Recognizing that highlights are gold in social media, King, a graphic artist and newspaper editor earlier in his career, formed a team that in just three minutes edits TV highlights into clips for ESPN’s digital platforms, voiced by its anchors. Fans are now watching more than 300 million clips a month–and King has created a starring role online for SportsCenter, the network’s franchise broadcast player. The app is having an impact internally as well. “It’s been a huge catalyst in how we think about covering news,” says King. For this summer’s coverage of the World Cup, which will undoubtedly draw ESPN’s biggest audience of the year, anchors inside SportsCenter’s new state-of-the-art broadcast studio will weave real-time Twitter chatter, viral videos, and game highlights into their reports, essentially bringing the app to life on TV.

About the author

Chuck Salter is a senior editor at Fast Company and a longtime award-winning feature writer for the magazine. In addition to his print, online and video stories, he performs live reported narratives at various conferences, and he edited the Fast Company anthologies Breakthrough Leadership, Hacking Hollywood, and #Unplug.