ESPN has announced new roles for its senior leadersas it builds on the expansion and success of its domestic and global business.
Mike Morrison, whose time with ESPN began with the EMEA business in 2007, has led ESPNâs businesses in Asia Pacific (APAC) since 2008. He will return to the U.S. in his new role as Vice-President, ESPN Business Development, reporting to Justin Connolly, Executive Vice-President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.
With Morrisonâs transition, Tim Bunnell, Senior Vice-President, International Programming, Production and Marketing, will add regional responsibilities to his functional roles. He will now also overseeESPNâs businesses in China and North Asia, including the highly successful relationship with Tencent.
Additionally, Charly Classen will expand his role toVice-President and General Manager, EMEA, South Asia and Australia/New Zealand. As part of his new responsibilities, Classen will now manage ESPNâs businesses in South East Asia, Australia/New Zealand and India, in addition to EMEA.
âMikeâs extensive experience in creating innovative solutions and managing and executing partnerships will allow for an effortless transition into a business development role on our team,â said Connolly. âHe will be integral to our efforts in identifying and building new business opportunities.â
âBoth Tim and Charly bring great experience, energy and expertise to succeed in their expanded roles,â said Russell Wolff, Executive Vice-President, ESPN International. âWe want to sincerely thank Mike for his commitment and contributions over the years leading the APAC region, and welcome him back to the U.S.â
During Morrisonâs tenure in APAC, ESPN has expanded beyond the multimedia business in Australia/New Zealand by focusing on digital businesses and launching multiple brand license-based deals, including with Tencent in China, Sony in India and TV5 in the Philippines. Moving forward, Classenâs new role will allow for greater alignment across ESPNâs primarily English-speaking businesses in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia as well as sports such as soccer, cricket, football and Formula 1. Bunnellâs long-standing relationship with the NBA will also play a key role in the growth of ESPNâs business in China, given the ever-growing importance of the league in the market and the Tencent/NBA relationship.