SBJ/March 12 - 18, 2007/Forty Under 40

Adam Holzer


Adam Holzer
Age: 38
Title: Senior vice president, ad sales and integrated emerging media
Company: Fox Cable Networks
Education: B.S., marketing, University of Maryland
Family: Wife, Michelle; son, Ben, 6; daughter, Emily, 3
Career: Started at the NBA from 1992-94; Turner Broadcasting, 1994-98; Fox, 1998-present.
Last vacation: Traveled to the Bahamas in February
Last book read: "The Tender Bar,” by J.R. Moehringer
Last movie seen: "The Departed”
TV show you never miss: "The Wire”
What’s on your iPod: Classic rock and hip hop
Pet peeve: People with poor listening skills
Greatest achievement: My family
Greatest disappointment: The status of the world today
Best sporting event you’ve ever attended: The 2002 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship when Maryland beat Indiana
Fantasy job: I want to run a sleep-away summer camp.
Executive you most admire: Phil Knight
Business advice: Always be persistent and never take no for an answer.

Adam Holzer had a problem. It was six years ago, and he had to sell national advertisers on a new nightly news and entertainment show Fox Sports Net was launching called "Best Damn Sports Show Period." Not only was the show new, but it also would not be covering a national footprint because of the local aspect of FSN's regional sports channels.

So Holzer huddled with FSN's George Greenberg before the show's 2001 launch and developed the "product integration" strategy that subsequently has become a hallmark of the series. The idea is providing value beyond a 30-second spot. "We had to figure out ways to get advertisers involved with the show and allow them to cut through the clutter," Holzer said.

The result is a show that essentially turns the "BDSSP" set into an indoor shopping mall.

"Adam's creative and resourceful and has turned ?Best Damn' into one of the most advertiser-friendly shows on television," said Guy Sousa, executive vice president of ad sales for the sports division of Fox Cable Networks. "His work on ?Best Damn' is groundbreaking and demonstrates the highest level of creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness."

One of the first to take advantage was Mike's Hard Lemonade, which sponsored a bar on the set where the hosts sat around and talked. "It wound up being a natural fit for Mike's," Holzer said.

When Mike's pulled out, Holzer sighed Keystone. Rather than a bar, Holzer decided to create a basement set — complete with couches, TVs and a foosball table — that's sponsored by Keystone.

One of Holzer's favorite product integration sales has been the Full Throttle Wall of Flame, where the show's guests had their pictures Velcroed to the Full Throttle Wall when they completed a specific stunt. "The Full Throttle brand and the show made sense for each other to work together," Holzer said.

Other sales include the Home Depot Deck, the Best Buy Media Room and the Windows Live Lounge.

Using the product integration strategy, Holzer convinced a bevy of national brands to advertise, including Hooters, Haggar, Verizon and Coca-Cola.

Holzer believes his work ethic — he's one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave the office — has helped him in his career at Fox, where he also oversees ad sales for Fuel, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox College Sports.

— John Ourand

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