An ESPY Award (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) is an accolade presented by the Americancable television network ESPN to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding a given annual ceremony. The first ESPYs were awarded in 1993. Because of the ceremony’s rescheduling prior to the 2002 iteration thereof, awards presented in 2002 were for achievement and performances during the seventeen-plus previous months. As the similarly styled Grammy (for music), Emmy (for television), Academy Award (for film), and Tony (for theatre), the ESPYs are hosted by a contemporary celebrity; the style, though, is more relaxed, light, and self-referential than that of many other awards shows, with comedic sketches usually included.
From their inception to 2004, ESPY Award winners were chosen only through voting by fans. Since 2004, sportswriters, broadcasters, sports executives, and sportspersons, collectively experts; or ESPN personalities also vote. Award winners have been selected thereafter exclusively through online fan balloting conducted from amongst candidates selected by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee.