Ed Erhardt was appointed president, Global Sales & Marketing in May 2015. Having overseen the multimedia sales team for the company since 1999, his new role adds oversight of consumer marketing, research and advertising sales business operations. He is responsible for developing an insights-driven marketing and data organization supporting one of the company’s most important revenue streams: advertising sales. He reports to John Skipper, ESPN President and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks.
Erhardt leads a sales and marketing team that provides advertisers and marketers access to the premier media and marketing platforms under the ESPN umbrella which includes ESPN’s domestic networks, ESPN on ABC, ESPN.com, ESPN3, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio, ESPN International, WatchESPN and ESPN Mobile.
He broke new ground in the media and advertising sales industry by creating the first unified sales organization that represents The Walt Disney Company sports assets across all media platforms. Organized by team and focused on customer needs and media agnostic, it has been widely hailed by competitors and customers as the prototype for the future of media marketing and selling.
Erhardt is responsible for ESPN’s marketing efforts which include the development, direction and implementation of all branding, creative services and marketing for ESPN’s growing media businesses, encompassing television, mobile, print, radio, the Internet, consumer products and all outdoor advertising. This includes the oversight of the company’s award-winning “This is SportsCenter” marketing campaign.
He also oversees ESPN’s research and analytics group, which serves as a vital link between the company’s strategic planning of new products and services and constantly shifting marketplace dynamics as well as the company’s special event marketing department.
Erhardt is a sought after speaker and panelist on the subject of cross-media marketing and sales. His sales and marketing group is ranked at the top of the industry by Myers Reports and Beta Research year after year in innovation and integrated marketing success stories. Over the years ESPN has been recognized as an industry leader in developing marketing programs and promotions that are innovative and activate sports fans to interact with the ESPN brand and ABC Sports Programming. Erhardt is routinely recognized as a leader in the sports advertising industry, including in publications like Sports Business Journal and Mediaweek. In 2008 he was awarded the Distinguished Citizenship Award from the John A. Reisenbach Foundation.
Erhardt previously worked at Advertising Age, the industry bible, where he served in a variety of roles which culminated as Vice President/Group Publisher where he was responsible for all content and business operations. Under his leadership, Advertising Age extended its influence from a single magazine to reach readers, viewers, subscribers, listeners and users through a variety of traditional, interactive and new media formats. Erhardt oversaw the launches of Ad Age International, and Ad Age’s Creativity. In addition, he was the visionary behind adage.com, which was developed into the world’s most-used advertising and marketing website.
Previously, Erhardt was vice president of Sales at the National Journal, a subsidiary of Times Mirror Corporation, where he oversaw sales and marketing for a group of publications and information vehicles aimed at decision-makers in the Federal Government, Congress and White House.
In 1995, Erhardt was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement, which recognizes outstanding career achievements for advertising professionals under the age of 40. He also was nationally recognized for his role as founder and organizer of the American Advertising Federation’s Multicultural Marketing Task Force.
Erhardt began his career in 1979 when he joined the Soho Weekly News as an advertising sales representative. From there, he moved to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich where he was advertising sales manager for a group of international publications aimed at the tobacco industry.
Mr. Erhardt serves on a variety of industry boards and foundations. He is currently on the executive board of the Cable Advertising Bureau and a founding board member of the International 3D Society, where he serves as the Marketing Committee Chair. Erhardt is also a member of the NY Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) and Advertising Women of New York.
Erhardt is a graduate of St. John’s University in New York City, earning a bachelor of science degree in communication arts in 1979.