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George W. Bodenheimer, ESPN

ABA11 Winner / How to Enter

Company: ESPN, Bristol, CT
Company Description: ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets.
Nomination Category: Management Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Executive of the Year - Media & Entertainment

Nomination Title: George W. Bodenheimer, President & CEO

    Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since January 1 2010 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

        An ESPN and cable industry pioneer, George Bodenheimer, 52, was named ESPN’s fifth President. As the company’s longest-tenured top executive, he has led an unprecedented period of growth for ESPN. 

        Bodenheimer’s path to leadership mirrors that of ESPN itself - with his sharp focus on creativity and cutting-edge innovation, his emphasis on always enhancing value for ESPN’s fans and business partners, and his conviction for teamwork. .

        Under Bodenheimer’s leadership, ABC Sports has one of the broadcast industry’s most comprehensive sports programming schedules, and ESPN offers more leading platforms than any other sports media entity and has acquired a collection of rights unparalleled in scope, including Monday Night Football, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, college football and the BCS, college basketball, The Masters, Premier League, golf’s British Open and tennis’ US Open and Wimbledon. These agreements and their unprecedented length underscore Bodenheimer’s focus on ESPN’s mission to serve sports fans. 

        Bodenheimer’s vision has led to numerous company and industry-leading innovations in integrated sales and marketing, original programming, rights and business acquisitions, and new technologies, highlighted by ESPN’s state-of-the-art Digital Center in Bristol, a West Coast production facility in Los Angeles, an Innovation Lab in Orlando and, in conjunction with Disney, a Media and Ad Lab in Austin.  He established an organizational structure with leaders focusing on six areas:  content across all media, technology, international, sales and marketing, finance and administration.

        Bodenheimer also elevated the company’s numerous corporate outreach initiatives, most notably with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and the late basketball coach and commentator Jim Valvano.  The V Foundation has raised more than $100 million since 1993 and 100% of cash donations go directly to research.

        In 2010, ESPN ranked number 16 on Fast Company’s list of the year’s Most Innovative Companies for integrating new technology like a start up including the following:  •     Seven cable networks, magazine, radio network, podcasts, and websites, including the new, devoted to women's sports. •     107 million weekly fans across all media; 98 million online visits to and other sites during the 2010 FIFA World Cup; nearly 8 million online fantasy-league and game users; more than 3.5 billion text alerts sent in 2010. •     ESPN 3D, the first 3-D channel on cable, went live 24-7 in February; ESPNU College Town debuted in September and is the No. 2 sports app on Facebook with 2.6 million monthly users; "Music in the Life" launched online, featuring prerelease exclusives from Tom Petty and Eric Clapton. •     Launched live streaming, on-demand video, and other features on Microsoft's Xbox Live; converted ScoreCenter, originally an iPhone app, into a multiplatform live scoreboard app. Its newest home: Samsung's Internet TVs. •     Its compelling "30 for 30" documentary series produced 30 films in just 32 months with veteran directors like Barry Levinson, Peter Berg, Steve Nash and Ice Cube. In addition, the media networks under Walt Disney’s ownership saw a year over year revenue increase of 6% and a 22% increase since 2006.

    List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, []:

        Additional Resources:

    Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the nominee:

        George Bodenheimer is the current president of ESPN Inc. and of ABC's sports division, known since 2006 as ESPN on ABC. He has been president of ESPN since November 19, 1998 and of the former ABC Sports since March 3, 2003. Since he has been president of ESPN, he has launched: ESPNHD, ESPN2HD, ESPN Plus, ESPN PPV, ESPN360, ESPN Motion, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes.  George was first hired at ESPN as a mailroom clerk. He graduated from Denison University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.