A new event is making its debut at Disney’s Wide World of Sports this coming July. The ESPN RISE Games will feature numerous sporting events throughout the week and looks to be a great chance for the young competitors to gain some valuable experience.


Press Release

dwwos_logo_001aESPN RISE and Disney’s Wide World of Sports have developed a new weeklong, multi-sport event called the “ESPN RISE Games”.  The ESPN RISE Games, which will feature elite and competitive channel sports events, will be presented by Target.  The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target will take place July 19-25, 2009 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, the nation’s leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports, in suburban Orlando, Fla.

The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target will be anchored by three elite high school sports events: the AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion®, the Under Armour High School Softball All-American game and ESPN RISE’s newly developed, elite high school football event Champion® Gridiron Kings.  Additional sponsors for the event will include POWERADE, the events exclusive beverage provider.

The weeklong event will also feature competitive channel youth sports – baseball (10U, 11U and 12U), basketball (12U and 14U), field hockey (U14, U16 and U19) and track & field (12-14 and 15-18).  The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target is expected to host 4,000 student athletes.

“Creating events like the ESPN RISE Games provides us with a great opportunity to work with our various partners to offer student athletes, looking to hone their skills, the resources and inspiration that can be utilized to aide in their continued development,” said James Brown, senior vice president, ESPN RISE.  “We hope that the events we are planning will motivate them to elevate their collective games, taking them all one more step closer to achieving their individual goals.”

The ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target is in line with the strategy for the ESPN re-branding of the Disney sports complex, which will create a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience for athletes and fans.

“The ESPN RISE Games builds on the wide range of nationally-recognized youth and amateur sports events we host at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex,” said Mike Millay, Disney’s Director of Sports Events. “Through the increased collaboration between Disney and ESPN, we look forward to creating more marquee events and transformational sports experiences at our sports complex that athletes, coaches and spectators can’t get anywhere else.”


AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion® is part of the AAU National Championships held at the Disney sports complex and features marquee 17-under club teams from across the country.  The event includes two days of pool play and a single-elimination tournament. The tournament is a breeding ground for future NBA stars including Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, as well as collegiate phenoms such as Tyler Hansbrough and JJ Redick. July 20-25

Under Armour High School Softball All-American game will feature 30 of the top high school All-Star players in the nation divided into two squads.  Players are selected by a committee of high school softball experts from ESPN RISE.  July 19-21

Champion® Gridiron Kings is an elite high school football event that features the best players in the game’s seven skill positions – quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety.  The event includes performance training, position specific training, skills challenges and a 7-on-7 competition. July 23-25.

Team enrollment for the open division baseball, basketball, field hockey and track & field programs are available.  Additional information on the ESPN RISE Games Presented by Target is available at ESPNRISEGames.com.


ESPN RISE is the culmination of ESPN’s 20-year history of covering high school sports, including boys’ and girls’ basketball, football and lacrosse competitions, in addition to its acquisitions of SchoolSports, Hoopgurlz.com, Student Sports and its StudentSports.com and DyeStat.com.  ESPN RISE represents ESPN’s commitment to engage and elevate high school athletes by providing them with recognition, resources, information and inspiration that can motivate them to improve their skills and achieve their goals to be the best athletes they can.  ESPN RISE assets include ESPN RISE, GIRL, Hardwood and Gridiron magazines; ESPNRISE.com, Hoopgurlz.com and DyeStat.com, and more than 160 high school events including Elite 11, Elite 24, ESPN RISE National High School Invitational, Faster to First, Area Code Baseball and Nike Combines/Nike SPARQ Mini Camps.  ESPN RISE is uniquely positioned to provide high school athletes and the company’s core fans with compelling high school sports content across all ESPN platforms.

About Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex

Opened in 1997 at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States. The sprawling 220-acre state-of-the-art complex features the Milk House, a 165,000-square-foot field house which seats 5,500 for basketball; the 9,500-seat Champion® Stadium ballpark; the Hess Sports Fields, which include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields; and the Jostens Center, an 80,000 square foot multi-sport field house. In addition, the complex has 11 tennis courts, including a stadium court, and a track and field complex. The complex is home to more than 180 amateur and professional sports and entertainment events each year, including the Major League Baseball Atlanta Braves spring training, the Pop Warner Super Bowl, the Old Spice Classic college basketball tournament, Chelsea Football Club events, Disney’s Soccer Showcase, the Special Olympics Florida Summer Games and the World Cheerleading Championships. Please visit disneysports.com for more information.

About Target- US

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,699 stores in 49 states nationwide and at Target.com. Target is committed to providing a fun and convenient shopping experience with access to unique and highly differentiated products at affordable prices. Since 1946, the corporation has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs like Take Charge of Education. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week.

About Champion

Since 1919 Champion has offered a full line of innovative athletic apparel for men and women including sport bras, activewear, team uniforms, sweats and accessories.  Champion can be purchased at most sporting goods and department stores.  For more information about Champion for men and women visit www.championusa.com . Champion is a brand of Hanesbrands Inc.

About Under Armour, Inc.

Under Armour® (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand’s moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe.  The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou, China. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.underarmour.com .


Launched by The Coca-Cola company in 1990, POWERADE® is a sports drink that provides athletes with hydration and energy.  POWERADE is the product innovation leader in the sports drink category.  In 2001, POWERADE was the first sports drink to add B-Vitamins which aid in energy metabolism.  In 2008, POWERADE pioneered the zero-calorie sports drink segment by launching POWERADE ZERO™.  In 2009, POWERADE launched a re-formulation, POWERADE ION4 TM, a complete sports drink that replenishes four electrolytes in the same ratio at which they’re lost in sweat.  For information, visit www.us.POWERADE.com .

Wrapping it up

I remember the opportunities that I had to compete in various sports throughout my young life. The lessons they taught me have served me well my whole life and I envy the young athletes who will get to compete in such an amazing arena as Disney’s Wide World of Sports during this event.