ESPN Names Aaron Taylor Senior Vice President, Marketing
ESPN named Aaron Taylor senior vice president, marketing. Taylor, a 14-year veteran of the company, will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the ESPN brand, including domestic television, digital (mobile, online, social media), radio, and print media assets, as well as building upon the company’s award-winning creative that includes the iconic “This Is SportsCenter” campaign, which he has overseen for more than 11 years.
“Throughout his tenure at ESPN, Aaron has always exhibited strong leadership, integrity and passion for our brand. His creative oversight of our products and properties has resulted in innovative and groundbreaking marketing strategies and campaigns at ESPN,” says Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing. “The future of the ESPN brand is in capable hands with Aaron as the leader of the marketing team.”
Taylor has previously been responsible for ESPN’s overall brand strategy and has led the marketing of many of ESPN’s live events, news and information programming, and related content emanating from rights agreements with league partners. Most recently he has managed the development of marketing strategies and communications to support ESPN Monday Night Football and ESPN’s other NFL-related programming as well as ESPN’s coverage of the NBA, MLB, soccer, golf, and tennis, among others. Taylor has also recently overseen the marketing of many of ESPN’s digital products, including WatchESPN, ESPN Fantasy, ESPN3, and espnW. As of August 2012, he began directing marketing’s social media team, as well as the marketing for the award-winning 30 for 30 film series.
Taylor joined ESPN in 1999 as director of advertising and program marketing, leading the development of marketing strategies and promotional campaigns in support of several of ESPN’s professional sports league partners including the NFL and NHL. He was promoted to vice president, marketing, in October 2001, and has served in various leadership capacities within the department including vice president, brand management and vice president, sports marketing. He played an instrumental role in the development and execution of the “Without Sports” brand campaign that ran from 2002 to 2005 and earned a Gold Lion at Cannes for the “Shelfball” spots, which were part of that campaign. He also oversaw the development of ESPN’s “Season of the Fan” campaign to support ESPN’s 25th anniversary in 2004 and led the development of the “Is It Monday Yet?” campaign which supported the move of Monday Night Football from ABC to ESPN in 2006. In 2010, he played a leading role in the development of ESPN’s current brand campaign, “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports,” for which he is now responsible. On behalf of the ESPN Marketing department and Wieden+Kennedy New York, last night Taylor accepted a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement – Institutional at the 34th Sports Emmy Awards for the campaign’s “Shake On It”, “The Name”, and “Born Into It” spots.
Prior to joining ESPN, Taylor was vice president, account director at the advertising agency Young & Rubicam, where he oversaw the national advertising co-op side of the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) business. During nearly seven years with Young & Rubicam, Taylor also worked in account management on the Molson Breweries USA, AT&T, and Johnson & Johnson accounts and contributed to new business acquisitions for the agency including DuPont, Fisher-Price, and Kellogg’s. In 2011, Taylor was appointed to the Board of Directors of PromaxBDA, the leading global resource for marketing, promotion and design professionals within the entertainment/information industry.
Taylor, a native of Simsbury, CT, graduated from Skidmore College in 1986 with a bachelor of arts degree in Government. In 1992 he received his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.