George Bodenheimer booking
An ESPN and cable industry pioneer, George Bodenheimer, was named ESPN’s fifth president in 1998, and as the company’s longest-tenured top executive 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. In 2003, he was also appointed president of ABC Sports, overseeing all the multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company, and in 2004 he assumed the role of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, encompassing strategic planning for Disney’s media assets.
As president of ESPN, Inc., Bodenheimer leads one of the world’s premier brands with over 50 business entities and counting—including six domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU); 46 international television networks; ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ESPNU HD (simulcast services in high-definition); ESPN 3D; ESPN Regional Television; ESPN.com; ESPN Radio; ESPN The Magazine and books; and other growing new businesses including ESPN3.com (broadband), ESPN Mobile (wireless), ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive.
Under Bodenheimer’s leadership, ESPN offers more leading platforms than any other media entity and has acquired a collection of rights unparalleled in scope. Recent major acquisitions including The Masters, the SEC and ACC, the BCS, Premier League, golf’s British Open and tennis’s US Open were added to the stable highlighted by Monday Night Football, NBA, MLB, college football and basketball, World Cup Soccer and Wimbledon. The number of recent agreements and the unprecedented length underscore Bodenheimer’s focus on ESPN’s mission to serve sports fans.
As president of ABC Sports, he oversees one of the broadcast industry’s most comprehensive sports programming schedules, which is now branded ESPN on ABC. Among the premier programming is the NBA Finals, NASCAR, college football including the Rose Bowl, college basketball, World Cup Soccer, the Belmont Stakes, Little League World Series, the Indy 500 and more.
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. In 2010, he was named to the Vanity Fair 100, Vanity Fair magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world.
Bodenheimer joined the company after college in January 1981 as a driver in the mailroom. He rose through the ranks becoming executive vice president, Sales and Marketing in 1996. He was graduated from Denison University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and he is married with three children.
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