Former Chairman of NBC Sports Group Dick Ebersol, USOC CMO Lisa Baird to be Honored at 2012 PromaxBDA Sports Marketing Summit & Awards
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — PromaxBDA, the global association for marketing professionals today announced the honorees of the Sports Media Marketing achievement awards. Former Chairman of NBC Sports Group Dick Ebersol will be honored with the Lifetime Innovator Award, and current United States Olympic Committee CMO Lisa Baird will be honored with the Game Changer Award, both at the 2012 Sports Marketing Summit and Awards show held at Capitale in New York on November 13.
“The Sports Media Marketing Awards celebrate the most creative and innovative leaders in the sports and sports media marketing industry, and we’re thrilled to be honoring Dick Ebersol as Lifetime Innovator and Lisa Baird as Game Changer, two of the world’s most interesting, exciting and accomplished visionaries,” said Jonathan Block-Verk. “The impact these two luminaries have had on the industry and on popular culture is extraordinary and we’re honored to be celebrating their continued legacies.”
The Lifetime Innovator Award is a special award presented each year at the Sports Media Marketing Awards honoring an individual whose career has had significant impact to the business of sports media marketing. Created to recognize an individual’s long-term innovation, creativity and contribution, the Lifetime Innovator Award recipient is a distinguished leader who has charted new territory and, through their career, has fundamentally changed the business of Sports Media Marketing. Peter Moore, COO of Electronic Arts, received the award in 2011.
The Game Changer Award is a special honor recognizing a cultural innovator, who through the development of new technologies, applications, business models and/or industries has had significant impact on the overall business of sports media and sports media marketing. Billy Beane, VP and GM of the Oakland A’s received the award in 2011.
This year’s summit will include headline topics from the business over the last year and will welcome innovative thought-leaders in the global media marketing industry, all with a look to the future of one of the world’s fastest growing industries. Discussions will explore the issues, trends and emerging opportunities affecting success in sports media marketing. The wide-ranging topics will look at everything from the effects of franchise relocation to best practices in brand integration and social media to understanding the fan of the future. Highlights for this year will also include a discussion on crisis management, as well as a comprehensive look back at the strategies and successes for London 2012 and what lies ahead for the Olympic program with Sochi 2014 on the horizon.
It all will culminate by honoring the creative, excellence and innovation in sports media marketing and promotion at the third annual PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards.
For the most up-to-date information on the awards and summit, visit www.sportsmediamarketing.com
PromaxBDA (promaxbda.org) leads the global community of those passionately engaged in the marketing of television and video content on all platforms, inspiring creativity, driving innovation and honoring excellence. The association represents more than 10,000 companies and individuals at every major media organization, marketing agency, research company, strategic and creative vendor and technology provider and is considered to be the leading global resource for education, community, creative inspiration and career development in the media and media marketing sectors.
About Lisa Baird
As Chief Marketing Officer for the United States Olympic Committee, Lisa Baird directs the organization’s sales and marketing division and oversees corporate sponsorship, properties, media, events and consumer products divisions. Since joining the USOC, Baird has signed more than $350 million in revenue in one of the most challenging marketplaces in recent years.
Baird has launched a number of innovative new fan platforms including Road to Vancouver and Road to London, as well as the 2012 national fundraising campaign, Raise Our Flag. She has led a redesign for the USOC brand and built a licensing business that will achieve over $100 Million in retail sales in 2012. Digital media is a focus for Baird as she oversaw the launch of the redesigned TeamUSA.org, an original content partnership with YouTube, the organizations first mobile application and built platforms for fans on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. As a result, the USOC, Team USA and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams are the leading sports brands in the United States with a corporate reputation and athlete ratings topping every other property.
Before joining the USOC, Baird served as SVP of marketing and consumer products for the National Football League (NFL) from 2005-2007, where she directed the league’s consumer products and marketing. Baird managed the League’s launch of the NFL Play60 fitness program and NFLRush.com, now the largest sports site for kids. She has previously held senior marketing positions at IBM, General Motors and Procter & Gamble.
About Dick Ebersol
On April 27, 2009, the six “Commissioners of American Sport” – Roger Goodell (NFL), David Stern (NBA), Bud Selig (MLB), Gary Bettman (NHL), Tim Finchem (PGA Tour) and Brian France (NASCAR) – were part of an unprecedented presentation that concluded with Muhammad Ali awarding Dick Ebersol the prestigious Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
It was a fitting tribute to a producer and executive who “Fortune” Magazine said “has practically done it all in a storied TV career.” Known for his ability to amass large television audiences, Ebersol has produced eight of the top 10 most-watched television events in US history.
Over more than three decades in television, Ebersol stands alone as an executive who has played a prominent role in the wide-ranging fields of sports, entertainment and news by possessing the rare combination of a producer’s creative vision, a CEO’s business acumen and a partner’s genuine desire for cooperation.
Ebersol’s crowning achievement was establishing NBC Universal as the home of the Olympic Games. Beginning in 1967, when he temporarily dropped out of Yale University to join Roone Arledge and ABC Sports as television’s first-ever Olympic researcher, his passion has been the Olympics. In 1989, Ebersol returned to NBC as president of NBC Sports. He served as executive producer for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, his first Olympics since Munich in 1972 for ABC, and then began an unprecedented run of Olympic rights agreements that established NBC as “America’s Olympic Network.”
In 1993, he secured the rights to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. In August of 1995, he acquired the rights for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. It marked the first time that rights for consecutive Olympics were awarded at the same time. Later that same year, he was the driving force behind NBC Sports’ bold and historic acquisition of the exclusive media rights for the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2006 Winter Olympics. The agreements marked the first time that the same network had been awarded the rights to five consecutive Olympics. In 2003, Ebersol led NBC to acquire the exclusive US media rights to the 2010 Winter Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ebersol’s career is unique, in part, because of its diversity. In addition to his sports prowess, Ebersol, along with Lorne Michaels (whom he hired) conceived and created “Saturday Night Live.” As an independent producer, he created iconic, Emmy Award-winning programs such as “Friday Night Videos” and “Later with Bob Costas.” Ebersol even served as SVP of NBC News.
Recognition for Ebersol’s accomplishments can be measured, in part, by the prestigious honors and awards he has won. He is regularly among the top 10 honorees on “The Sporting News’” annual list of the 100 most powerful sports figures, including in 1996 when he was named the Most Powerful Person in Sports. In 1992, Ebersol was awarded the Olympic Order, an honor periodically bestowed by the International Olympic Committee to recognize remarkable contributions to the Olympic Movement. In 2005, Ebersol was inducted into both the US Olympic Hall of Fame and the “Broadcasting & Cable” Hall of Fame. In 2008, NBC won the Peabody Award for its coverage of the Beijing Opening Ceremony along with famed Chinese film director Zhang Yimou, who served as the event’s creative director. At the “SportsBusiness Journal’s” 2009 Sports Business Awards, Ebersol won Sports Executive of the Year and NBC Sports won Best in Sports Television. In 2010, “Broadcasting & Cable” recognized Ebersol as “Broadcaster of the Year,” largely due to NBC Sports’ work on the Vancouver Olympics and the NFL. “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a record 15 of 16 (94%) weeks in 2009.
Ebersol led NBC Sports for more than 20 years. On May 1, 1989, he was named president of the division and was promoted to chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics in June 1998. In December 2003, Ebersol agreed to a nine-year contract to continue running NBC Sports & Olympics through 2012. He assumed the title as chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics in May 2004 when NBC and Universal merged. In January of 2011, upon completion of the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction, Ebersol became chairman of NBC Sports Group, which consists of NBC Sports, Golf Channel, VERSUS, 11 Comcast SportNets (regional sports networks) and their digital assets. After leaving NBC Sports Group in May 2011, Ebersol returned as senior adviser to NBC Sports group chairman Mark Lazarus.
Under Ebersol’s leadership, NBC Sports became synonymous with superior production that elevates the event, broad promotion and mutually beneficial partnerships. He recently produced three milestone television events: the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 became, at the time, the most-watched event in US television history with a record 215 million viewers; the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in 2010 were the second-most watched Winter Olympics in history with 190 million viewers, trailing only the tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games in 1994; and Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009 produced, at the time, the largest single audience in US television history with a record 152 million viewers.
The Super Bowl milestone was made possible in 2005 when Ebersol spearheaded the effort to return the NFL to NBC by negotiating an innovative six-year agreement that included moving the all-important NFL primetime broadcast package from Monday night to Sunday night, flexible scheduling for the first time ever, and Super Bowls in 2009 and 2012.
Ebersol’s early tenure at NBC Sports was highlighted by a spectacular string of sports-property acquisitions and renewals, including the NFL, NBA, Notre Dame football and MLB, through the formation of the joint-venture Baseball Network.
During the 1995-96 television season, for the only time in history, the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and Summer Olympics were telecast by the same network. It was following this run in 1996 that “The Sporting News” named him the Most Powerful Person in Sports. By January 1998, NBC had been the home of four Super Bowls in six years, another unprecedented stretch.
Interspersed with his unparalleled sports accomplishments is Ebersol’s career in entertainment television. In 1974, he joined NBC as director of weekend late night programming. It was in 1975 that Ebersol and Michaels conceived and developed “Saturday Night Live,” the groundbreaking comedy showcase that revolutionized the genre. Named VP of late night programming at age 28, Ebersol became NBC’s first-ever VP under the age of 30. After a brief departure, Ebersol returned to “SNL” in 1981 as executive producer and remained until 1985, spanning the Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal eras.
In 1983, he formed No Sleep Productions, a highly successful independent production company that created Emmy Award-winning NBC shows “Friday Night Videos” and “Later with Bob Costas,” and together with Vince McMahon, “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” When Ebersol left “SNL” in 1985, he devoted his time to his production company until rejoining NBC in 1989.
Contact: Joe Favorito/917.566.8345