Dave Coletti: ESPN's Real 'Stat Boy'
Worldwide Leader’s digital guru expects continued adoption of technology by viewers
By Tim Baysinger -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/20/2012 12:01:00 AMB&C's 2012 Digital All-Stars
“Digital Dave” (as he’s known around the home office in Bristol, Conn.) serves as ESPN’s VP, digital research & analytics. Coletti is charged with managing the team that is responsible for understanding all aspects of audience behavior across the company’s digital properties, which include ESPN.com, ESPN Mobile and WatchESPN. “We’re looking at traditional Web traffic, mobile smartphone traffic, tablet usage and video player usage, whether it’s on a tablet, computer or an Xbox,” Coletti says, defining the parameters.
Coletti likes what the numbers are telling him. “The one overarching theme is that there’s clearly a continued acceleration of digital usage,” he says. Coletti believes that, as digital platforms become more and more a part of ESPN viewers’ lives, those numbers will continue to rise. “We see nothing but increased usage across all of our digital platforms,” he says.
Coletti credits ESPN’s multiplatform content as a key reason why the Worldwide Leader in Sports on television is also a digital leader. “Our content is designed to live across all of the media that we play in,” he says. “You see this flow of audience across devices, across platforms, across all of our content.”
The exec, who has been with ESPN since 1998, has been lauded for vigorously promoting the use of time-based metrics to evaluate ESPN’s digital assets, which was quickly adopted.
Coletti’s influence expands far outside of ESPN’s walls. Sales presentations to agencies and clients usually begin with an introduction to “average minute audience” and how ESPN performs compared to the competition. He also serves on the research committees of several leading trade organizations, including the Online Publishers Association, Interactive Advertising Bureau and Media Rating Council, as well as serving on senior client advisory boards of both comScore and Nielsen Online.
And Coletti sees no reason why he—or ESPN’s digital growth—will slow anytime soon. “We see the continued adoption of technology by the consumer to fulfill their needs and to follow content in the best available way,” he says.
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