The 2016 ESPYS Presented by Capital One will be hosted by WWE Superstar, actor and television host John Cena, who is best known as a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion and record-setting Make-A-Wish granter. The ESPYS will be broadcast live on ABC Wednesday, July 13, at 8 p.m. ET from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Cena—who is the host and executive producer of American Grit, a new military-inspired competition series on FOX and has appeared in hit comedies Trainwreck and Sisters—will be joined by top athletes and celebrities to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major achievements, reliving unforgettable moments, and saluting the leading performers and performances. The ESPYS raise more than $1 million annually for The V Foundation, the charity founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach Jim Valvano to promote cancer research.
“It is truly an honor to be named host of The 2016 ESPYS,” said Cena. “Not only will the biggest names in sports and entertainment come together to recognize some of the most spectacular athletic performances of the year, but we’ll also raise funds for The V Foundation to further much-needed cancer research.”
As a WWE Superstar, actor, TV host and philanthropist, Cena devotes much of his time working on behalf of numerous charitable causes. He is Make-A-Wish’s most requested wish granter of all time and the only celebrity to grant 500 wishes. Cena is also committed to Susan G. Komen and its support of breast cancer research and awareness, and is a longtime supporter of the U.S. military, recently recognized by USO Metro as the recipient of their 2016 Legacy of Achievement Award.
“John is not only a superstar athlete and entertainer, but also a motivational force who inspires fans across the globe,” said executive producer Maura Mandt. “John approaches all of his endeavors with energy, enthusiasm and passion so we expect him to bring a new level of excitement to the night’s celebration.”
In addition to his work in the community, Cena is a powerhouse on social media with more than 41 million Facebook fans, making him the most popular active U.S. athlete on Facebook. He has recently appeared on Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ellen, The Tonight Show and CONAN, among others. He also frequently co-hosts the 9 a.m. hour of TODAY.
The celebration of the best moments from the year in sports kicks off with The ESPYS Countdown Show Presented by Capital One airing from 5-6 p.m. ET, SportsCenter at The ESPYS from 6-7 p.m. ET, then another hour of The ESPYS Countdown Presented by Capital One from 7-8 p.m. ET on ESPN prior to the start of the awards. The ESPYS are executive produced by Maura Mandt and MaggieVision Productions.
The application site for media credentials for The 2016 ESPYS will open on June 6. Tickets are available for public purchase at AXS.com. For additional ESPYS news and information, please follow the official Twitter handle: @ESPYS.
The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances. The 2016 ESPYS will recognize both sport-specific achievements, such as “Best MLB Player” and “Best WNBA Player,” and best-in-sport winners, such as “Best Team” or “Best Female Athlete” that pit nominees from different sports against each other. Inspiring human stories are showcased through three pillar awards – the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, the Jimmy V Perseverance Award and the Pat Tillman Award for Service. The ESPYS support ESPN’s ongoing commitment to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, launched by ESPN with the late Jim Valvano in 1993.