Senior VP and GM of NBA Digital; Senior VP, Turner Sports Strategy, Marketing and Programming
By Stuart Miller -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/4/2012 12:01:00 AM
Sure, Miller liked change—but she also loved her previous job as senior VP of Cartoon Network Enterprises. After all, she spent her early days in the media industry in the world of kids at HIT Entertainment (purveyors of Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine and The Wiggles). So she kept her old job too.
“I enjoyed both worlds,” she says, though the 24/7 “ready or not you have to be smart and decisive” nature of sports provided her with a challenge that she relished stepping up to meet.
Then another offer came along last July—to become senior VP and general manager of NBA Digital and a chance to oversee day-to-day operations of NBA TV and the league’s Website. Seizing this role, Miller relinquished her gig at Cartoon Network but she kept her Turner Sports job, where she is still strategizing on everything from the NCAA basketball tournaments (with its clever “Brackets” marketing campaign this year) to Major League Baseball, with golf and NASCAR thrown in for good measure.
“Turner is a great organization with a lot of opportunities,” Miller says. “The challenge, the chance to stretch and learn more, is what drives me.”
Miller’s comfort with fluid situations and moving targets proved invaluable. Not only is Turner getting the new MLB wild card playoff game this year, but in her first months at the helm of NBA Digital, she had to deal with an NBA-less world. And yet, when the sport returned, the ratings on Turner and NBA TV increased. She is looking to keep driving growth through ways that will create “seamless consumption and social conversation” in this technology-driven age.
“Even in college I was fascinated by the psychology of consumer brands, of how to keep something meaningful over a long period,” she says. “Sports is the epitome of that. People look to sports to play, to aspire or for nostalgia.”
But she is also looking for “smart risks,” not just any new avenue.
“Sometimes the decisions you make not to jump in on something are the most important ones,” Miller says. “We have to be a strong filter to cut out the noise and figure out what is most important for our fans. Our goal has to be optimizing our business, not maximizing it.”
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