ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen Announces 2017-2018 National Speaking Tour

Press Release ( - PHILADELPHIA - Sep 07, 2017 - ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen, the legendary entrepreneur who single-handedly changed the way the world watches sports and television, today announced a new national speaking tour for the 2017-2018 season, with upcoming engagements in New York and Philadelphia, with other events to be announced soon.

A gifted raconteur and a popular public speaker discussing American entrepreneurship, innovation, and the birth of ESPN, Rasmussen is a frequent guest on television, radio, and podcasts, including his July appearance on “Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss,” on the AUDIENCE Network, produced by Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Productions.

On Sept. 7, 1979, ESPN went on the air for the first time.  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. The man who had the dream, the founder of ESPN, is Bill Rasmussen.

Rasmussen single-handedly forever changed the face of sports. Born out of adversity, his brainstorm has become the Worldwide Leader in Sports.  Rasmussen is the man who had the dream, the Founder of ESPN.

Jim Miller, co-author of the best-selling book, “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” told John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal that, “this is a guy whose idea gave birth to, arguably, the most successful media story of our time.”

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 Sept. 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 “SportsCenter,” 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.

Named “The Father of Cable Sports,” by USA Today, Rasmussen was named to The Sports 100, honoring the 100 most important people in American Sports History. His place in sports history was further recognized by Sports Illustrated in 1994, when he was honored as one of the “40 for the Ages,” one of 40 individuals who significantly altered and elevated the world of sport in the last half of the 20th Century. He has been elected into numerous sports, business and television Halls of Fame, and received multiple business and academic awards (which are listed on his websites).

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 is available at his website,

Source : ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen

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