ESPN appoints 15-year vet Laura Gentile its top marketer

ESPN veteran Donna Gentile promoted to senior vice president of marketing / ESPN

ESPN has announced the appointment of Laura Gentile as the network's senior vice president of marketing.

Gentile and her team will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the ESPN brand across all media and building upon a catalog of award-winning creative. Additionally, she will focus on expanding the brand’s reach to new audiences and sports fans.

The 15-year veteran of the sports network started her career in 2003 as director of advertising and marketing. Gentile rose up through the company, helping to launch ESPNW, the dedicated network for women's sports content.

Most recently, she served as senior vice president of business operations and content strategy, which included oversight of the business operations of the network’s content group and strategy development. Simultaneously, she had led ESPNW and its women’s initiatives as a senior vice president since November 2015.

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro, who replaced John Skipper in the role earlier this year, said in a statement: “Laura’s keen eye for marketing and her insight into our brand, given her vast experience across a number of ESPN businesses, has contributed to her being the right person at the right time to lead this important effort and dynamic group.”

Gentile’s role in steering the company has included a new agency partner for the network in Droga5, as well as a revamped campaign for its flagship news show, SportsCenter and an overhauled mobile app experience. However, challenges such as Turner Sports Bleacher Report, John Skipper’s new streaming service DAZN and the assets brought in with parent company Disney’s merger with Fox may be major hurdles for her team to contend with.

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