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StartUp Westport Innovator of the Year Award – Hosted by The Westport Library

April 30 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Sports media visionary and ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro is being honored by Startup Westport with its inaugural Innovator of the Year Award.

Tickets for the event are $25 in advance or $30 at the door.

ESPN sports personality and Westport resident Mike Greenberg, host of the daily morning show Get Up, the NFL Draft, and his own ESPN radio program, will interview Pitaro about his accomplishments during the awards ceremony.


With the net proceeds benefiting The Westport Library, this “Big Show” for StartUp Westport will focus on a business leader responsible for the continued success of ESPN, an iconic brand that is always part of the national conversation.

Pitaro serves as the chairman of ESPN, a core business segment of The Walt Disney Company. His tenure at the worldwide leader in sports has been characterized by strategic advancements, innovative agreements, notable growth in ESPN’s digital and social presence, and a focus on audience expansion, solidifying his position as a visionary leader in the sports media landscape.

Pitaro, who has a BS in economics from Cornell University and a JD from St. John’s University School of Law, has piloted ESPN to creative rights agreements with major entities like the NFL and UFC, expanded Disney’s sports assets, achieved ratings success with shows like SportsCenter and ESPN’s signature programs, and spearheaded the launch and growth of ESPN+, a multi-sport direct-to-consumer video service. He also is credited with identifying key business priorities — including innovation, storytelling, audience expansion, and direct-to-consumer strategies — and implementing a collaborative leadership style that resulted in impressive employee engagement and performance during challenging times.

In addition, Pitaro actively serves on various industry and charitable boards, showcasing his commitment to community engagement and industry development.

For his efforts, Pitaro was recognized by Sports Business Journal with inclusion in its prestigious “Forty Under 40” list for his dynamic leadership in sports and as its Sports Executive of the Year for 2019-20. He was also honored as the Multichannel News Sports Executive of the Year in 2018.


Your ticket to this incredible evening earns you entry into the event and goes to support the Library’s annual programming initiatives. Over the past year, the Library has hosted more than 1,000 free programs, bringing together a remarkable 85,000+ individuals — three times our town’s population! We want to continue to provide those programs, and we need your support to do so.

Join us in supporting this invaluable resource — and don’t miss this unforgettable event featuring one of the premier executives in the history of sports television.


Mentees of StartUp Westport Mentorship program can request discounted tickets by emailing mentorship@startupwestport.org.


The Westport Library
20 Jessup Rd
Westport, Connecticut 06880
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