Golfer Lorena Ochoa, basketball player Candace Parker, auto racer Danica Patrick and skier Lindsey Vonn are the finalists for best female athlete.
There are 37 categories in which fans will determine the winner. A complete look at the nominees is at ESPYS.tv.
Last year, more than 12.5 million votes were tabulated.
The Best Upset category includes the New York Giants, who upset previously unbeaten New England for the Super Bowl title; the Appalachian State football team, which upended Michigan in the season opener; the Fresno State baseball team, which became the lowest seed ever to win an NCAA title; and horse racing's Da'Tara, the Belmont Stakes winner over Big Brown.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award will be given to 1968 U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos. There will be two other special awards as well. The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance will honor former Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett, who was severely injured in last year's season opener but has begun to walk again.
The ESPYS will air July 20 on ESPN.
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report