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Published March 3, 2008
One of the perks of being Jennifer Storms is the occasional life lesson cherry-picked from TNT analyst Charles Barkley.
"There are all these kids in the studio one day," Storms remembers, "and he looks at them and says, 'What do you want to do when you grow up.' When 90 percent of the boys say they want to be a basketball player, he looks them straight in the eye and says, 'And what's Plan B, son?'"
For the first female vice president of marketing and programming at Turner Sports, Plan B has developed into a job as one of the more powerful women in sports media. Plan A was a professional skiing career that didn't pan out. A two-time Forty Under 40 winner, the affable Storms leads the marketing and programming side of an exploding sports enterprise.
"She likes to know all facets of the business," said David Levy, who oversees her work as president of Turner Sports. "Not just her marketing role, but how that affects the network, the consumer, the brand, the advertiser."
In the past year, Storms crafted the marketing plan behind TBS's first year televising a portion of the Major League Baseball playoffs and TNT's revised package of NASCAR races. She also added oversight of Turner Sports' new media marketing, helping to lead the revamp of Web sites for NASCAR, the PGA of America and the PGA Tour.
Turner's 24-year relationship with the NBA continues to serve as the network's centerpiece. Storms was instrumental in the eight-year rights extension with the league that was reached last June. Her influence with the NBA will continue to expand with Turner's assumption of operations for NBA TV, NBA.com and NBA League Pass.
"It's a great opportunity because we can take what we've learned (with the NBA on TNT) and look at these three businesses to see what we might be able to do to affect them," Storms said.