ESPN Powerfully Celebrates Emotional Milestones With ‘There’s No Place Like Sports’

Spot comes from indie agency Arts & Letters Creative Co.

At Wimbledon this year, 15-year-old Coco Gauff beat one of her idols, Venus Williams.
Headshot of Doug Zanger

Ever since Wieden + Kennedy let go of the reins of its masterful ESPN work, it’s been difficult to gauge the sports giant’s personality. “This Is SportsCenter” remains some of the most enjoyable advertising out there, and not just in its category. For years, W+K (and later, ESPN’s internal team) put a happy and clever face on sports, and Droga5 continued the tradition—yet the more profound human emotions of competition were underexplored.

Working with Arts & Letters Creative Co. for the first time, the Disney-owned network has launched a new spot that reveals a profound truth about sports well beyond the scores and stats.

The anthemic 60-second spot from the agency, founded by The Martin Agency, TBWA and W+K alumni, isn’t necessarily earth-shattering from a structural standpoint. Footage of compelling sports moments is a tried-and-true technique, but the real power is in the choices made.

Coco Gauff’s win over Venus Willams at Wimbledon, the U.S. women’s national soccer team taking home their fourth World Cup trophy, Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Shazier’s incredible path to walking again after a devastating injury, gymnast abuse survivors standing in solidarity at 2018’s ESPYs, one-handed Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin’s rise to the NFL, and the heartbreaking tribute after the death of Los Angeles Angels player Tyler Skaggs are but a few moments that transcend sports.

It’s perfectly fine for us to have a laugh from time to time, and sports can be that great escape as evidenced by a library of work that we can look back upon fondly. But there are also many moments that honor the sacrifices that athletes and coaches make, and it’s well worth capturing those, too.


Client: ESPN
CMO: Laura Gentile
Senior Director: Rachel Epstein
Marketing Manager: Amanda Marcotullio
Associate Marketing Manager: Grace Bowes
Director, Sports Marketing: Erin Thornton
Contributor, Writer, Producer: Stacey Pressman

Arts & Letters Creative Co.
Founder, Executive Creative Director: Charles Hodges
Director of Strategy: Andy Grayson
Director of Production: Letitia Jacobs
Managing Director: Rich Weinstein
Creative: Blair Seward
Creative: Elizabeth Daniel
Creative: Chris Araujo
Creative: Kim Nguyen
Creative: Whitney Repole
Creative Albert Song
Assistant Producer: Griffin Morrow
Head of Business Affairs: Lenora Cushing
Business Affairs: Jennifer Kmetzsch
Business Manager: Mary Stuart Smart
Business Manager: Martin Madriaga
Strategist: Jessica Sartoretto
Music Supervisor: Cam DiNunzio

Editorial Company: XYZ Editorial
Editor: Ryan Quinn
Assistant Editor: Dallas Simms

Color: Mondial Inc.
Colorist: Will Renton
Color Producer: Ash Bruce

Audio Mix: Overcoast Music + Sound
Audio Mixer: Matt Whitworth
Producer: J.L. Hodges
Track: “Beliefe”

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@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.