Christina Miller, Senior VP, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network Enterprises
Pulling double duty with single-minded focus
By Lindsay Rubino -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/27/2011 12:01:00 AMClick here to read more Next Wave of Leaders
“Why not?” is the answer Christina Miller came up with when asked to join Turner Sports Strategy/Marketing/ Programming as senior vice president in September 2009. But instead of resigning from her current position at Cartoon Network Enterprises, she decided to pursue both—and has not looked back.
Miller joined CNE in 2005 as vice president, and oversaw the launch of the company’s first consumer products franchise, Ben 10. With the success of the multi-million-dollar brand launch, she continued to expand the group’s portfolio.
After Miller joined Turner Sports, the company began an aggressive campaign to bolster its presence in the sports marketplace. In April 2010, Turner signed a 14-year deal with the NCAA and CBS to jointly cover the March Madness basketball tournament across four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. The deal proved to be a smart move for Turner: The 2011 tournament saw double-digit viewership growth across the four networks and the highest ratings for the tournament in 20 years.
“It’s been a privilege to be part of it,” Miller says. “Everything from overseeing the programming and the marketing and the strategy around NCAA March Madness— our first launch—I think it will be one of those things I look back on in my career as a proud moment to have been part of the way we changed the fan experience and broadcast model.”
Even with March Madness over, Turner Sports shows no signs of slowing. The company began its marketing efforts for NASCAR in May, with coverage moving from Fox to TNT in June. Besides Turner Sports’ upcoming Major League Baseball postseason coverage, Miller is looking forward to year two of March Madness.
“Coming out of such a record-breaking year, how do we continue to amplify and build on that? I look forward to the challenges there,” she says.
Managing both worlds has seemed to be easy going for Miller. Turner Sports’ constant marketing efforts for year-round sports coverage has not overshadowed her dedication to Cartoon Network Enterprises’ growing portfolio, including the upcoming launch of the Adventure Time brand of consumer products.
“When I look at where I’m going, I just want to continue to grow brands and find ways to innovate in...the sports and kids space,” she says. I hope to be able to touch many more things like March Madness and what we achieved this year for the NBA.”
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