About Disney Sports

The Disney Sports Public Relations team is a full-service sports news bureau, skilled in generating sports-focused story ideas, customizable content across video and photo platforms, and live site broadcast support.

Disney Sports Public Relations provides support for many events and venues:

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.- The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is home to more than 300 events each year, accommodating 60 different sports, and drawing athletes from more than 70 countries.  Competitors range from the young to the old, from the amateur and highly skilled to the Special Olympian and the weekend warrior.  Below are a handful of signature events:

runDisney Events

runDisney is a series of events providing runners unique opportunities to run through Disney theme parks. Race participants earn Disney-themed medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment and guest service and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. The original event in the series, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna, takes place in January followed by the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler in September and the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November.  Disneyland hosts the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend in January and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September during Labor Day Weekend.  More than 100,000 running enthusiasts participate in runDisney events each year.

Tom Shaw Performance Camp/ Brooks Johnson Olympic Training (February)

Since 2006, renowned speed and conditioning coach Tom Shaw has trained some of the top NFL players while renowned Olympic trainer Brooks Johnson has trained some of the top Olympic runners at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Tom Shaw’s notable athletes include Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes (New York Jets), 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison (Cincinnati Bengals), two-time Pro Bowler Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions), Mark Sanchez (New York Jets), 2009 NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) and Devin Hester (Chicago Bears). Brooks Johnson’s notable Olympic runners include David Oliver (2008 Beijing Bronze Medal winner in 110m Hurdles), David Payne (2008 Beijing Silver Medal winner in 110m Hurdles), and April Holmes (2008 Beijing Paralympics Gold Medal winner 100m).

Atlanta Braves Spring Training (February-March)

On March 27, 1997, the Atlanta Braves exhibition game versus the Cincinnati Reds marked the grand opening of the sports complex.  The Braves enjoyed a string of nine straight division titles (1997-2005) while at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and recently made the 2012 playoffs.

Cheerleading Worlds Championship (April)

Considered the Super Bowl of cheerleading events, the Cheerleading Worlds Championship features the globe’s best cheerleading squads.  Participation in the event has grown dramatically from three international teams representing two countries to more than 100 teams (8,500 cheerleaders) from 40 countries.

AAU Boys Basketball National Championships (July)

The tournament features some of the top high school-age players from across the country. Known as a breeding ground for future NBA stars (Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade); the event attracts NCAA coaches from the top basketball programs, making it the premier collegiate recruiting event in the nation. 

Old Spice Classic (November)

The premier pre-season Division I event is an eight-team, 12-game men’s basketball tournament that takes place over Thanksgiving weekend and features some of the top collegiate teams in America.  Past winners include Arkansas (2006), North Carolina State (2007), Gonzaga (2008), Florida State (2009), Notre Dame (2010), Dayton (2011) and Gonzaga (2012). Competing this year will be West Virginia, Marist, Vanderbilt, Davidson, UTEP, Oklahoma, Clemson and Gonzaga.    

The Home Depot College Football Awards/Disney Spirit Award (December)

The star-studded awards show features the live presentation of nine of college football’s most prestigious awards, along with Disney’s Spirit Award.  The event takes place at Atlantic Dance Hall on Disney’s Boardwalk.  Disney’s Spirit Award has been presented annually to college football’s most inspirational figure since 1996, including Tim Tebow (2008), D.J. Williams (2009), Mark Herzlich (2010), University of Alabama (2011) and Nate Boyer (2012). 

 

Pop Warner Super Bowl (December)

Sixty-four of the top youth football teams in the nation compete in this week-long Super Bowl after advancing through regional competitions.  National crowns will be won in four divisions based on size and age-Jr. Pee Wee (ages 8-11 yrs.), Pee Wee (9-12 yrs.), Jr. Midget (10-13 yrs.) and Midget (11-15 yrs.).  The Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championships also takes place, bringing together thousands of cheerleaders from across the country.

 Disney’s Soccer Showcase Presented by AS Roma (December)

Widely regarded as the leading elite youth soccer tournament in the nation, this event annually attracts the top high school-aged boys and girls soccer players from across the country.  The tournament features more than 500 teams (roughly 9,500 athletes). More than 800 college coaches attend, making it the place where top college prospects are recruited.

AS Roma Winter Training Camp (December)

Three-time Italian Serie A champion AS Roma return stateside in December for its an annual winter training as part of the club’s multi-year partnership with ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As presenting sponsor for Disney’s Soccer Showcase, the top-rated youth soccer tournament in the United States, AS Roma invites international soccer fans to join them at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for a one-of-a-kind fan interaction experience.