Monday, February 4, 2013

The GUILD Agency Signs ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen to Exclusive Representation

New York, NY – February 4, 2013 – The GUILD Agency, a full-service international speakers bureau and literary agency, has signed ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen to an exclusive contract, representing him for all  domestic and international speaking engagements and appearances. 

Rasmussen, the legendary entrepreneur who founded the World Wide Leader in Sports, ESPN, is a gifted raconteur who has been speaking to a wide-variety of audiences around the country over the past four years, primarily in support of his recent book, “Sports Junkies Rejoice! The Birth of ESPN.” 

“If you are of a certain age, it is impossible to imagine the world before Bill Rasmussen created ESPN,” said Jared Shahid, President of The GUILD Agency Speakers Division.  “Bill has a compelling story, and a rich history as an entrepreneur and innovator that audiences of all ages relate to on so many levels.  He’s a true pioneer in the world of sports, television and broadcasting and we are extremely proud to represent Bill exclusively for speaking engagements.”

It is safe to say that Rasmussen changed the face of sports, and the face of television.  His brainstorm for a 24-hour cable sports television network, born out of adversity, has become the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN.  A former radio and television sports broadcaster, Rasmussen had been the New England Whalers Communications Director, but when the Whalers didn’t make the 1978 WHA playoffs, Rasmussen and others on staff were fired. His idea for 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.

"I am pleased to be associated with this high-caliber agency as we enhance my public speaking efforts. The GUILD Agency has rapidly built a very impressive roster of speakers with an enviable record of success in representing them,” said Rasmussen. "It is exciting to work with Jared and James and their strong team as one of their exclusive portfolio of speakers.”

Founded in 2011 by James Marshall Reilly, The GUILD Agency is a full-service international speakers bureau, literary agency, social impact consultancy, and smart-content media firm with headquarters in New York City.   GUILD exclusively represents some of the most talented thinkers in the world including New York Times Best-Selling Author, Steven Kotler, FEED Co-Founder and international food systems expert Ellen Gustafson, and Adam Braun, the Founder of Pencils of Promise, which ABC News referred to as “the hottest nonprofit in the country.” 

“It’s humbling to work with such an array of immensely accomplished individuals and to represent Bill, who we think is absolutely brilliant, is incredibly exciting,” said Reilly.

The GUILD Agency’s  agents and planners have arranged thousands of events, brokered book deals with major publishing houses, consulted for national and international corporations and NPOs, worked with the most well-known public figures in the world, and have years of experience in architecting, developing and building personal and corporate brands.  Additional information about The GUILD Agency is available at

A life-long entrepreneur and sports fan, Rasmussen’s innovations in advertising, sports and broadcasting are numerous, including the creation of ESPN and the concept for “Sports Center.” Rasmussen was cited as “The Father of Cable Sports” by USA Today, and 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 “Forty for the Ages,” one of 40 individuals who has significantly altered and elevated the world of sport.  Among many industry and civic honors, Rasmussen was honored as one of the 2011 class of The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business, an award from the Sports Business Journal and the Sports Business Daily recognizing the architects and builders of sports.  Additional information about Rasmussen is available at and at

Media Contact: Jim DeLorenzo, 215-266-5943,