SBD/February 5, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With ESPN Wide World Of Sports' Robyn Remick



Remyck brings an extensive background in cable and telecom to ESPN's WWOS
After nearly three decades working in the cable industry, ROBYN REMICK has moved her office to "The Happiest Place On Earth." In the newly created position of VP/Business Development & Content at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex, Remick's Disney World digs include facilities for about 70 different sports. Following stints with a multitude of cable and telecom companies including MTV and AT&T, she then had her hands on sales, affiliate partnerships and experiential marketing at ESPN starting in '02. Remick is now tasked with bringing in new competitions that can then be turned into content for the ESPN family of networks. "I see my new job not as much a switch, but as an extension," she said. "It's less about operating the facility and more about bringing ESPN content in as part of a Disney sports banner." Remick chatted with THE DAILY about forging a foundation for her new position, the life lessons she took from her time with MTV, and why she balances both Mac and PC.

A day in the life...
It's a mix of sports business and activating kids and young people in participating in sports. How do you take that participation piece and extend it into a more competitive brand of sports, which is more along the lines of what ESPN represents? Because the complex is sort of the heart of the Disney Parks & Resorts brand, you get people coming from all over the world. We’re really looking at incrementally, how we can grow our fan engagement here with the larger number of folks who are coming here from across the country, and the world. It's examining how we use the facility to bring in invitational tournaments. It’s giving a clear eye to what content we can produce that will be interesting, competitive and enlightening for ESPN fans. Because we have production facilities here, we can produce content that not just feels like ESPN but actually is ESPN content.

I'm the pioneer, but there is certainly room for more integration and more folks from Bristol to come down. So I'm just the beachhead of the South Campus office. I have worked for most of my career with folks in Parks & Resorts, so I had some established relationships down here. The move part has been easy because I wasn't coming into an unknown.

I want my MTV...
The most interesting part of my experience with MTV was, I was in sales, and when newbies would come in to MTV, they would give you the more difficult or less sexy territories. I was given the Florida panhandle, Alabama and Mississippi. I will tell people to this day who say that whatever brand they're selling, that it's a difficult sale, that if you tried in the '80s selling MTV in Mississippi, you learn different ways to communicate, certainly, but you learn to be patient, and to understand different points of view.

Negotiations go awry when...
One side is not listening. The difference between listening and waiting to talk is very clear, and that's almost like an eye game for me. You can tell when you're talking to someone the difference between them thinking about what they're talking about and they already have the response in their head from something you just said thirty seconds ago. That's what I think is the biggest problem people have in negotiating, whether it's what you're going to have for dinner or what you're going to program.

Talking tech...
I have an iPhone, which is my work phone, then also I have an LG Chocolate. The iPhone is great for work because it's sort of an everything device, it's like "STAR TREK" all in one. I have an iPad too. I'm all Mac at home, and PC at work; I find that it's good to have the separation of technology.

Watch, listen, read...
I still start my day with "MIKE & MIKE," and I do love me some STEPHEN A. SMITH. I enjoy "FIRST TAKE" because I've gotten to work with him at a number of different events and just really enjoy his point of view. I also like the afternoon shows on NPR, like "ALL THINGS CONSIDERED." Most of the newspapers I read now are online. People here read the actual newspaper a lot. I've mentioned to them that it's available online, but they say that's how they like it.

Best spot for a bite...
For a business lunch, there's a place called Sanaa in the Animal Kingdom lodge area, and they do North African food that is really nicely done. While you're eating, a giraffe will walk by, so you're really right where the animals are wandering through and it's just a really cool place.

When it's time to unwind...
I just started to get into acupuncture, which I chose because I had gotten a gift card from my sister to a spa and they had acupuncture. Normally I would have gone for the massage, but I had never tried it and I really felt better than from a massage.

Guilty pleasure...
Karaoke. Every once in a while, the folks down here and I will hit the karaoke bar in this one hotel. I don't know how guilty I feel, but it's a lot of fun.
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