Sean Bratches was promoted to executive vice president, sales and marketing for ESPN on October 6, 2005. He oversees all affiliate sales, advertising sales, research, marketing, consumer products and special events. This brings into one division ESPN’s two primary revenue streams, affiliate and advertising sales, supported by marketing, research and client support services.
Bratches leads a sales and marketing team that provides national advertisers access to the premier media and marketing platforms and content under the ESPN umbrella which includes the company’s six domestic cable television networks, ABC Sports, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio, ESPN International and ESPN’s mobile properties. Bratches also oversees the first unified sales organization that represents The Walt Disney Company’s premier collection of sports assets across all media platforms.
In addition, Bratches oversees all affiliate distribution, licensing, marketing and local advertising sales for the domestic cable and satellite networks of The Walt Disney Company: ABC Family, Disney Channel, SOAPnet, Disney XD, Disney Junior, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN HD and ESPN 3D. He also is responsible for the domestic distribution of related authenticated networks, HDTV, broadband, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, interactive television, pay-per-view, Spanish-language, and sports syndication products. In addition, Bratches oversees ESPN’s research department, which serves as a vital link between the company’s strategic planning and the constantly shifting marketplace, as well as the company’s special event marketing department.
In 2010, Bratches’ team introduced ESPNnetworks.com, a service providing authenticated, online access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Goal Line and Buzzer Beater. That was followed by the launch of the WatchESPN App in April of 2011 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices, allowing mobile access to these same channels and ESPN3.com. The App marks the first time a live, streaming cable channel is available in the U.S. on mobile devices.
Bratches is responsible for ESPN’s marketing efforts which include the development, direction and implementation of all branding, creative services and marketing for ESPN’s growing media businesses, encompassing television, mobile, print, radio, the Internet, consumer products and all outdoor advertising. This includes the oversight of the company’s award-winning “This is SportsCenter” marketing campaign.
He also oversees ESPN’s research and analytics group, which serves as a vital link between the company’s strategic planning of new products and services and constantly shifting marketplace dynamics as well as the company’s special event marketing department.
Bratches joined ESPN in October 1988 as an account executive and within a year was promoted to senior account executive. He earned several more promotions before his current role.
Bratches, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology, was inducted into the 2008 RIT Sports Hall of Fame for lacrosse and distinguished service. He has been named to the CableFAX 100, the publication’s annual list of "Cable’s 100 Heavy Hitters," every year since 1999. Bratches has received two Vanguard Awards, the cable industry’s most prestigious award, presented by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.