Sara Gaiero has been promoted to VP of production, and is now responsible for strategic oversight and management of ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA women’s basketball, in addition to her WNBA responsibilities. Her promotion helps further ESPN’s investment in the growth of women’s basketball by having a consistent leader on both properties.
Gaiero is charged with establishing production objectives, concept design, and the execution of creative content, to help expand viewership, talent/personnel assignments, and manage relationships with both the NCAA and WNBA.
During her oversight of the WNBA, ESPN and ABC have produced more women’s professional basketball games than ever before, while also enhancing overall coverage of the league with expanded studio shows and live presentations of signature events, including WNBA Finals and Playoffs, WNBA All-Star Weekend, and the WNBA Draft. The addition and growth of WNBA Countdown has been a pivotal part of ESPN’s coverage of WNBA in recent years.
Gaiero began in a management role on the NBA side in 2014 and was charged to lead ESPN’s WNBA production in 2020, guiding the team through the challenges of COVID and the WNBA’s return to the court in the ‘Wubble’. From 2016 – 2019, she managed ESPN’s NBA Summer League programming. Gaiero established production objectives while directing content and coverage for the 14-day, 82-game event which has experienced significant growth in viewership.
Throughout her 23-year ESPN career, Gaiero has worked in multiple production roles across a variety of live sporting events, including the NBA Finals, WNBA Finals, Monday Night Football, college football, college basketball, Women’s Final Four, Men’s and Women’s FIFA World Cups, X Games, Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby, the NFL Draft, the Little League World Series, and Wimbledon.
Gaiero served as an assistant director on the ESPN production team that was honored in 2012 by the Alliance for Women in Media with a Gracie Award for Outstanding Sports Program for coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup (USA vs. Brazil). She served as chairperson of ESPN Production’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee – a group focused on retention and promotion of women into high-level, decision-making roles – for more than five years, and she has been an integral part of the ESPN Next program since its inception.
A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Gaiero was a four-year letterwinner on the field hockey team and was inspired to pursue a career in sports television.
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