“The Sports Guy” Bill Simmons Renews Agreement; Expands Role at ESPN


WEBWIRE – Tuesday, April 03, 2007

“The Sports Guy,” Bill Simmons, has signed a new multi-year agreement to continue writing columns and features for both ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine and to consult on original shows and projects for ESPN Original Entertainment. Simmons, one of the country’s most-read sports writers and a pioneer of sports writing on the Internet, was recently named the 12th most influential person in online sports by the Sports Business Journal - the highest position on the list for a non-executive. He is also a New York Times best-selling author (Now I Can Die in Peace) whose second book will be published by ESPN Books in 2008. His online home, “Sports Guy’s World,” will continue as a part of ESPN.com’s award-winning Page 2.

Simmons’ ramblings, rants and writings have become the voice of a generation of sports fans and his readership has steadily grown since he started at ESPN.com in the spring of 2001, quickly becoming the most popular columnist on the site. In 2002 Simmons also became the lead columnist for ESPN The Magazine.

“The Sports Guy’s” informative and entertaining columns have generated hundreds of millions of page views on ESPN.com and, for the first quarter of 2007, visitors to Simmons’ content are pacing more than 150 percent ahead of the same period last year. Since Super Bowl week (Jan 27), Simmons has generated almost 20 million page views according to Hitbox Web measurement tools.

“Simmons is a remarkable writer who has helped carve out an entirely new kind of voice in sports,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “His columns are social currency in offices, ball fields and sports bars around the country, he is a must read for millions of sports fans, and his contributions to content at ESPN through the years are both prolific and extremely valuable"

John Walsh, executive vice president and executive editor of ESPN Inc. said, “Simmons unique observations about the intersecting worlds of sports and pop culture make him a consistent favorite. His inventive style weaves humor and observations with truly insightful sports writing. He was the first to truly capture a view of the sports world from a fan’s perspective"

Simmons anchors a team of distinctive voices on Page 2, ESPN’s multimedia humor and commentary brand. The Page 2 brand now extends further than ever before, across ESPN.com – the leading online sports destination and a nominee for the 2006 ASME Award for General Excellence Online – and in ESPN The Magazine, the two-time National Magazine Award winner.

Page 2 online has been enhanced and completely redesigned and ESPN The Magazine has added several new names to its roster to complement the award-winning contingent of voices that features Simmons, pop-culture writer and critic Chuck Klosterman, Jim Caple, Eric Neel, Gregg Easterbrook, Scoop Jackson, Jemele Hill, LZ Granderson, Buster Olney and Paul Lukas.

“For a magazine that aims to be the one for a new generation of sports fans, Bill Simmons is an essential voice. He is the most original sportswriter of his generation,” said Gary Hoenig, editor-in-chief, ESPN The Magazine.



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