SBJ/Sept. 11-17, 2017/Game Changers

Christina Alejandre, Turner Sports / ELeague

Photo by: JOHN NOWAK / TURNER SPORTS
C
hristina Alejandre became perhaps the most prominent woman in esports because a writer doubted she existed.

Christina Alejandre
Turner Sports // Vice president, esports
ELeague // General manager
In late 2015, Alejandre was working as a management consultant for esports tournament organizer ESL when Turner Sports posted a job listing for general manager of its new venture with WME-IMG, ELeague. It included such a daunting list of requirements that gaming blog Kotaku wrote a column titled, “No one alive could fill Time Warner’s esports job.”

“It was a crazy job description,” Alejandre concedes. “But I quickly realized there were very few people who did have everything they wanted, including me. So I wrote a cheeky letter to the executive recruiter here at Time Warner, and said, ‘Hey, I saw this Kotaku article. I just want to let you know I am alive.’”

Now well into the second year of ELeague, the property has earned high praise for adapting esports to linear television without losing credibility with hard-core fans — a fine line no one had successfully walked before.

It’s a “dream job,” Alejandre says, full of startup potential with the security of a major sports media property behind it. While esports is known as a boys club today and poses challenges for women, she thinks it has great potential for gender equity because there’s no inherent gender divide as in physical sports.

“Much like sports, they bring people together from all backgrounds,” she says. “I continue to be bullish on e-sports for that reason.”

— Ben Fischer



  • Where born: Seoul, Korea; grew up in South Portland, Maine.
  • Education: Occidental College, B.A. in economics.
  • Attribute I look for when hiring: I try to hire people and surround myself with people I know are smarter than me. It elevates the team and ultimately the product.
  • Networking tip I’ve learned: Find good mentors and be open to any advice. Similarly, make yourself available to those who are searching for mentors. I believe you get as much out of the relationship as they do.
  • Best advice I’ve received for career development: Chase the job, not the title.
  • Sports business industry can foster a healthier work-life balance by: I still haven’t figured that out yet.
  • Woman in sports business I’d most like to meet: I’ve met so many amazing women in sports during my time at Turner. Of the women I’ve not met, Stephanie McMahon (WWE) and Erika Nardini (Barstool Sports).
  • Is discussion about challenges women face working in sports necessary or played out? I think it’s always key to keep the dialogue going. We are shaping the business for the next generation and things are not perfect or fixed. To an extent, while I am truly honored to be on lists such as this one, it’s somewhat telling that these lists exist today instead of an overall list representative of all groups.
  • Cause supported: I actively mentor pre-managerial-level employees at Turner. I also support some animal rescue organizations.

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