ESPN has named Carol Kruse, a global brand marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience, as its senior vice president, marketing. Kruse, who has been with The Coca-Cola Company for nine years and has led its global interactive marketing team as vice president for the past three years, will begin her new duties with ESPN on October 25, reporting to Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing for ESPN. She will be located in the company’s New York office.
In her new role, Kruse will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the ESPN brand including domestic television, broadband, digital, mobile, radio and print media assets, as well as building upon the company’s award-winning creative that includes the iconic “This Is SportsCenter” campaign. Also, the position calls for a strategic marketing focus on ESPN’s social networking strategies.
Bratches said, “Carol Kruse possesses both a proven record of success helping to build a major global brand and a demonstrated ability to innovate and lead in the digital space to maximize brand strength and growth. We welcome Carol to the company and will look to her to lead the ESPN brand into the future.”
Kruse joined Coca-Cola North America in 2001 upon the acquisition of her company RocketCash LLC – an online payments and consumer promotions company – by Coca-Cola. Her role has encompassed building global brands by leveraging digital and mobile communications to drive brand value. Kruse led her team in the development of the “My Coke Rewards” loyalty and relationship marketing-program which debuted in 2006 and currently boasts more than 14 million members.
“I have had a great nine years at Coca-Cola and now look eagerly to this new opportunity to steward the leading global sports brand, ESPN. I am passionate about sports and what ESPN represents to sports fans; I look forward to engaging them further,” Kruse said.
An avid athlete and sports fan, Kruse has received the AdTech Lifetime Achievement Award, MediaPost’s Online All Star award and many other industry recognitions. She holds a B.S. from Pomona College and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.