ESPN Merges U.S., International Event Operations; Taps Calcinari as VP, Event Ops

ESPN has named Chris Calcinari as VP, event operations for both U.S. and International events as the global sports network provider consolidates separate U.S. and International event operations for its 34 networks around the world.

“The combination of Chris with the amazing people in that group is powerful,” says Jodi Markley, ESPN SVP of Operations. “Chris has run International event operations since August of 2007 and the merger of U.S. and International operations makes a lot of sense as production personnel will stick to specialties.”

ESPN has four operations units: event operations for remote needs, production operations for in-house needs, studio directing, and commercial operations. Event operations is the last unit to merge and become one unit serving all clients on all platforms.

“This aligns the business the way it should be aligned,” says Markley. “The two groups already work closely together on events like tennis majors that has been aligned. And now other sports, like soccer which is a huge initiative with 300 soccer games a year, will have a soccer unit that works with the MLS and International group.”

The XGames is another ESPN brand that will benefit from the unification as it continues to expand to places like Brazil, Mexico, Israel, and Dubai.

“This gives us strength in numbers,” says Markley. “Our mission hasn’t wavered: to serve sports fans the best way possible while looking to do things as efficiently as possible.”