The Original Disruptor - ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen - to Deliver Keynote Address at RISMedia's 23rd Annual Power Broker Reception & Dinner Friday, November 2 in Boston

ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen will deliver the keynote address to the attendees of RISMedia’s 23rd Annual Power Broker Reception & Dinner, held in Boston on Friday, November 2 during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

Through adversity and an entrepreneurial mindset, Rasmussen created what is now “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.”

This is a guy whose idea gave birth to, arguably, the most successful media story of our time.

Jim Miller, Author, "Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN"

His idea was simple, and, at the time, unheard of a 24-hour network.

Backed by one investor and defying unemployment, Rasmussen incorporated ESPN in 1978, and the network went on the air for the first time on Friday, September 7, 1979.

“This is a guy whose idea gave birth to, arguably, the most successful media story of our time,” according to Jim Miller, co-author of “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN.”

RISMedia’s Power Broker Reception & Dinner is an exclusive event honoring the Top 500 brokers in RISMedia’s 2018 Power Broker Report & Survey, published in April. The event, held in Boston at The Westin Copley Place, includes a cocktail reception followed by a dinner and awards ceremony. The event is presented by Platinum Sponsors Buffini & Company,, Quicken Loans, and RE/MAX.

Earlier on November 2, RISMedia will host the Power Broker Forum, “Compete—and Win—in a Changing Real Estate World,” from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Against brand-new business models and competition, a group of leading Power Brokers will discuss how to attract and keep talent, drive efficiency and exceed expectations. The Power Broker Forum is open to all attendees of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

Rasmussen is the legendary entrepreneur who single-handedly changed the way the world watches sports and television. Entrepreneurial daring, irrepressible enthusiasm and a dash of good luck gave the world the first 24-hour television network. Once unleashed upon sports fans, ESPN’s impact forever changed the way we watch television.

Rasmussen founded ESPN in the summer of 1978. He had his innovative brainstorm for an all-sports cable TV network within days of his firing by the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association on Memorial Day weekend. A former radio and television sportscaster, Rasmussen had been the Whalers Communications Director but when the Whalers didn’t make the 1978 WHA playoffs, most of the front office staff were fired, including Rasmussen.

The idea of an all-sports cable TV network captured his imagination, and he incorporated the fledgling network on July 14, 1978. He had already begun to seek out cable television companies, sponsors, investors and partners. With an idea that was truly ahead of its time, and running out of cash, Rasmussen found one investor who believed in the concept in February 1979, and by September 7, 1979, ESPN was on the air for the first time, 14 months from Rasmussen’s moment of inspiration.

A lifelong entrepreneur and sports fan, Rasmussen’s innovations in advertising, sports and broadcasting are numerous and include not only the creation of ESPN, but also the concept for “Sports Center,” wall-to-wall coverage of NCAA regular-season and 'March Madness' college basketball, and coverage of the College World Series. He broke the advertising barrier to cable television by signing Anheuser Busch to the largest cable TV advertising contract ever.

Rasmussen recounted the inside story of the birth of ESPN in his book "Sports Junkies Rejoice! The Birth of ESPN," which gives the real insider’s account from the man who changed the landscape of television and sports forever. 

Rasmussen is represented by Jim DeLorenzo of Jim DeLorenzo Public Relations for interviews and speaking engagements. 

Additional information about Rasmussen is available at   

Source: ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen