SBD/January 24, 2011/People and Pop Culture

John Miller Returning To NBC To Lead New Sports Agency

Miller (r) will oversee rebranding of Comcast's sports properties
Former NBC CMO JOHN MILLER is "moving back east to join NBC's sports group," according to John Ourand in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Miller "will lead a newly formed marketing and promotions group under the banner 'The NBC Sports Agency.'" He has been "quietly working in this role since November and will be tasked with making sure that Comcast’s sports properties work together with NBC’s." Miller said, "My goal is to immediately start pulling together the resources from all these groups. The real magic for us here is that we have not had cable sports channels as part of our portfolio in the past." Miller’s "immediate to-do list will be to develop cross-channel spots to promote shows and sports across all of NBC Sports’ and Comcast’s channels." He believes that a "steady stream of Versus and Golf Channel promos on NBC will help build ratings on those channels." NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chair DICK EBERSOL said that Miller also "will oversee the marketing around the rebranding of Comcast’s sports channels, which will include new names and new logos for Versus and Golf Channel." There is "no word on what those channels will be called, but the changes will not happen immediately and could possibly be pushed into next year." Ebersol said that he "jumped at the chance to bring Miller over to sports when he became available." Ebersol: "We would have taken this and done a good job. Under John, we have the opportunity to take this and do a great job" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/24 issue). In N.Y., Brian Stelter noted the agency "will be modeled after the NBC Agency," which Miller "helped to start in 1999 and which markets all of NBC’s television properties." The company's individual units "will still promote themselves, but the agency will find areas for broader collaboration between units and with advertisers" (NYTIMES.com, 1/23). NBC Senior VP/Strategic Marketing, Promotions & Communications MIKE MCCARLEY presented the idea of building an agency to Ebersol last spring and helped recruit Miller. "We pursued John like the Hall of Famer he is. Who better to market our new collective assets and simultaneously serve our advertisers than Mr. Must See TV?" McCarley and Miller have quietly spent the past few months working together to build the agency (Ourand).
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