Lee Ann Daly
VP of Marketing
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What have been the most defining moments along your career path?
Working for ESPN. ESPN has a relationship with its viewers like nobody else does, and that's part of what makes working here cool. Everything is created for the fans, not the board of directors, etc. ESPN was created by sports fans. ESPN doesn't consider itself to be a huge network. ESPN considers itself to be a huge sports fan. Period. That's the guiding principle. We try to spur debates, provides live programming, encourage fandom. We don't see ourselves separated from the audience by being a network. We see ourselves as having something in common with them because of our fandom.
The ads are the one place where that part of the ESPN culture comes through. We take the news, info seriously, but we don't have to take ourselves seriously. Ads don't compromise anything, it just enhances the image. Fans are always waiting around to see what we'll do next. The charge for marketing at ESPN is to entertain people/fans.
How did you get your big breaks?
When I first moved to New York after college, ESPN was the only way I could see Indiana basketball games. My brother went to Africa and for him the ESPN web site was best way to find out Indiana scores. I remember the first time I saw SportsCenter. They took the evening news model and used it to deliver sports news. Top story first, etc. Sports Center as the alternative to evening news, it was genuis! That's when sports reportering really started for me. I started as a journalist and ?did a stint at a radio production company doing ads which lead me away from journalism and into brand management and marketing. That skill led me to a job with ESPN in the marketing department.
What have you learned from your experience?
We try to create things that will provide a service to the fans. Web site fantasy games, etc. Sports pager for people who need to know everything right then. This is a company that listens to the fans, tries to deliver real value, and keeps the image consistent. First and foremost, ESPN is a news and information company, a journalism company, so it's gotta be right. I take pride in that. We also bring insight and have fun too.
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What most excites you about your job right now?
We always say that wherever sports are watched, listened to, debated, discussed, played, that's where we want to be. It's a great job.
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