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Walker Jacobs: Turner's Digital 'Mad Man'

Sales executive is bullish on new Bleacher Report acquisition 8/20/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

B&C's 2012 Digital All-Stars

Jacobs_WalkerAs the head of one of the fastest-
growing areas of Turner Broadcasting
System’s business, Walker
Jacobs, executive VP, Turner digital ad
sales, is always looking for ways to better
service advertisers.

Jacobs leads all sales efforts across Turner’s
portfolio of sports and entertainment digital
properties, including NBA.com, NCAA.com
(with March Madness Live and
CBSSports.com part of that workload), teamcoco.com and more.

With football season right around the corner,
Jacobs thinks the recent acquisition of
the digital sports property Bleacher Report
will finally make Turner a big pigskin player
this fall. “Digitally, historically we haven’t
had a strong football footprint,” he says,
adding that Turner wants to get those digital
clients that have new product launches during
this part of the calendar.

Jacobs is bullish on Bleacher Report’s
potential. “It’s going to bolster everything
we’re trying to do here,
in terms of making sure
we’re serving the sports
fan across all of their
interests,” he says.

Turner, in fact, had
been looking at different
businesses to add
to its portfolio for some
time, and [Bleacher
Report] “was just the
perfect match for us,”
Jacobs says.
Turner’s digital assets
already reach 100 million
unique visitors each
month. The acquisition of Bleacher Report—
with its 10 million uniques—will move that
number downfield like a well-executed draw
play. “This delivers us an audience at scale,”
says Jacobs. “My team and I are overwhelmingly
excited about how this enhances what
we’re doing in the sports space.”

While the digital
properties Turner has
are thriving, Jacobs says
he wants more from its
sports division.

“We didn’t have a
scale to really deliver
the maximum value
to the digital advertising
marketplace,” he
says, pointing out that
Turner’s sports properties
didn’t expand
year-round. “We’re very
strong [during] the college
basketball tournament,
we’re very strong in the NBA season,
and we’re very strong in golf and NASCAR.”
Jacobs is certain that Bleacher Report will
separate Turner from the competition, noting:
“It’s a fundamentally different offering
than a lot of what our competition is doing
on the Web.”

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