ESPN’s 30 for 30 Raises Sports Documentaries to a New Level

The CEO of Shadow League Digital, a cultural sports news organization, Keith Clinkscales has built a distinguished career in the media. A former ESPN producer, Keith Clinkscales provided creative direction for programs such as the ESPY Awards and the 30 for 30 documentary series.

A series that reshaped the way sports documentaries are made, 30 for 30 employed a diverse array of filmmakers to tell human-interest stories that transcend sporting events. Originally envisioned as a celebration of ESPN’s 30th anniversary, the project eclipsed its initial goal to become an Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning series.

In 2009, ESPN broadcast the first film in the 30 for 30 series, Kings Ransom. Directed by Peter Berg, the film told the story of the Edmonton Oilers trade of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. Gretzky created a sensation in Los Angeles and across the nation, suddenly drawing sellout crowds to the arena.

The 30 for 30 series now includes 90 films.

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