ESPN Chairman James Pitaro Named Honorary Chair of NAMIC Conference

NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA, July 7, 2022 / — NEW YORK, July 7, 2022—NAMIC today announced James Pitaro, Chairman of ESPN and Sports Content at The Walt Disney Company, as honorary chair of its 36th Annual Conference in New York Oct. 11-12.

The conference is a global forum where leaders in media, entertainment and technology gather to share insights. Under the theme “Resilience: The Courage to Lead,” the conference will focus on the massive challenges faced by the industry in the year ahead and will feature some of the very people at the helm of major global brands as they navigated the economic and social turbulence that marked the last two years.

“With changes in the global economy, the enduring COVID pandemic, and inflationary pressures mounting, our industry needs bold leadership,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and CEO of NAMIC. “Jimmy Pitaro is the kind of leader we need as the honorary chair of this year’s conference, a visionary who can address complex business challenges and innovation in an ever-changing landscape.”

Pitaro, who has spent two decades at the intersection of technology, sports and media, is responsible for the entirety of ESPN’s multimedia offerings – including all live sports programming, sports news and original and non-scripted sports-related content, audio, digital and social endeavors – plus all sports-related content for Disney’s cable channels, ESPN+ and ABC.

Under Pitaro’s leadership, ESPN has continued to grow as a global sports brand. The company aired “The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary series chronicling Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in their final 1997-98 championship season. The project won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and set new ESPN records for documentary viewership. ESPN has also signed multiple new rights agreements with the NFL, NHL, MLB, SEC, the PGA Tour, Wimbledon, Australian Open, Spain’s LaLiga, the Premier Lacrosse League, and other leagues worldwide. ESPN is now the leading sports brand across digital and social platforms, with engagement in the multiple billions.

Prior to leading ESPN, Pitaro had served as Chairman of Disney’s consumer products and interactive media division. As the world’s largest licenser of consumer products, the division brought iconic brands like Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel to life in hundreds of Disney stores, as well as through digital channels that reach one out of every three U.S. social media accounts.

“ESPN has a long-standing history with NAMIC that dates back to the organization’s inception. I’m very proud to be a part of NAMIC’s annual conference and join the many Disney and ESPN employees who participate every year,” said Pitaro. “NAMIC has been a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion for decades. That’s a vital part of our mission at ESPN, and an extremely important dimension in the broader world of sports. Sports can teach us all a great deal about DEI, and I’m looking forward to examining this and more at NAMIC’s conference.”

“The pandemic dramatically altered our landscape, from the shape of our workforce to shifts in consumer spending,” Washington said. “It was an unprecedented level of change in just two years, and it required incredible resilience. NAMIC’s 2022 Annual Conference is dedicated to drawing the most important lessons from those changes and exploring possibilities for the future.”

The annual conference, scheduled for Oct. 11 and 12 at the New York Marriott Marquis, features one-on-one networking opportunities, roundtable discussions, training and signature events. To register, please visit:



The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) is the premier organization focusing on cultural diversity, equity, access and inclusion in the media, entertainment and technology industries. More than 4,000 professionals belong to a network of 18 chapters nationwide. Through initiatives that support leadership development, advocacy and empowerment, NAMIC collaborates with industry partners to expand and nurture a workforce that reflects America’s cultural richness and diversity. For more information, please visit or follow @NAMICNational on Twitter.