Activision Blizzard CMO Tim Ellis joins the NFL as league looks to rebound from scandal-filled past

The NFL has hired its next chief marketer, former Activision Blizzard exec Tim Ellis / Adrian Curiel

The NFL has announced the hiring of Tim Ellis, as its new chief marketer, ending the Activision Blizzard vet’s seven year stint.

Ellis has replaced Dawn Hudson, who left her post earlier this year to be the chief executive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

At Activision Blizzard, Ellis oversaw the game developer's roster of titles, including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Destiny, and Skylanders.

Ellis oversaw the marketing efforts of one of the highest-selling video game titles in the last decade, Call of Duty, leading to over $1bn in sales in just over two weeks. Skylanders and Destiny also became two of the top new games in their respective launches. Ellis also established the company’s events, licensing, CRM, data management and analytics practices, and overhauled its digital and social media presences to be top communities in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Ellis has been scheduled to start on September 17, and will be responsible for all aspects of the NFL's marketing organization and will directly oversee research, content development, consumer engagement, advertising, promotions, marketing operations and branding.

Maryann Turcke, the football league's chief operating officer has been named Ellis’ direct report. Turcke said of Ellis: "We are excited to welcome Tim to the NFL family. Tim's marketing innovation experience with reaching new audiences via emerging platforms, and driving engagement using creative storytelling will further strengthen the NFL brand.”

Ellis added: "I couldn't be more excited to lead the marketing program for the NFL," said Ellis. "For me, football has always been the greatest game on earth, and I'm thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with them."

His new employer has faced heat for the past year, dealing with scrutiny from many over scandals with Colin Kaepernick and player protests, domestic violence policies, and its polarizing treatment of concussions and CTE. One of its most notable sponsors, Papa John's, has faced the wrath of fans by being affiliated with the league in recent months. And its declining ratings and viewership comes during the rise of the NBA, and announced invasion of European football leagues to American programming.

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