NEW YORK – ESPN Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Sean Bratches has played a key role in ESPN’s exponential growth for over 26 years.
On Monday, in recognition of his impact both within the company and the industry as a whole, Bratches was honored by Broadcasting & Cable at the Waldorf Astoria and inducted into its prestigious 2014 Hall of Fame class. Other honorees on the night included former ESPN colleague, now co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, Robin Roberts and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
Bratches joined ESPN when the company only had one television network. Many were skeptical that one 24-hour sports network would survive. Under Bratches leadership, ESPN’s content and its distribution across platforms is now unparalleled.
During Bratches’ acceptance remarks Monday night he said, “When I look at ESPN – and the success that we have had over the past few decades – I believe we were the best team – and that is attributable to our people and the great culture that we have built.”
Some ESPN and industry executives shared their thoughts about Bratches:
John Skipper, President, ESPN Inc.; Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks
“Sean’s contributions to ESPN and the industry are so significant they are beyond measure. Congratulations Sean on this tremendous honor.”
Russell Wolff, ESPN Executive VP and Managing Director, ESPN International
“Sean is a great colleague and friend. He has been a foundation, leader and innovator in the cable industry for as long as I have been involved. He has so amazingly led our most important revenue streams while always looking ahead to the future. Sean also sets a very high benchmark, example and probably unknowingly mentors many in the most important job some of us have – parenting. Thanks Sean!
Lori LeBas, ESPN Senior VP, Strategy and Business Operations
“What is so great working for Sean is that he is always available when I need him and he gives me such freedom to do my job and be successful. He is really the champion everyone needs in her corner. I’ve worked on Sean’s team every day of my career at ESPN and his warmth, caring and sense of humor are always present. Sean is the real deal.”
Aaron Taylor, ESPN Senior VP, Marketing
“To borrow a phrase, Sean is the point of the bayonet for Sales and Marketing. He is a courageous leader and advocate for what’s right. He is a tremendous defender of the ESPN brand because he understands the value that Affiliate Sales and Customer Marketing and Sales are able to extract from the marketplace due to our brand strength. He pushes us to evolve, innovate and take risks. He strikes the right balance of autonomy and advocacy for his people – and as a result has earned the unfailing loyalty of his team.”
Kerry Cox, executive assistant to Sean Bratches
“I have been fortunate to work closely with Sean for over 15 years. There has never been a day that I haven’t learned something from him and I have enjoyed every minute.”
Melinda Witmer, Time Warner Cable Networks, Executive VP, Chief Video Office & COO
“Sean has a larger than life personality. He is both a consummate professional while calm, cool and collected. He has a charm and a sense of humor and a way of encouraging that is inspiring — not just to the people that work for him — but to the people who are working with him.”