DAYTONA BEACH, Florida, Jan. 24, 2011 - The LPGA today announced that Edward Willett, a sales veteran with experience in sports and media highlighted by nine years at ESPN, has been named Vice President of Business Development, effective today. He will work out of the LPGA's Daytona Beach Headquarters, reporting to Chief Marketing Officer Jon Podany.
"We're excited to add Ed Willett to our team given his track record of success at major brands such as ESPN, USA Today and Sports Illustrated, and his deep passion for golf," Podany said. "Ed will jump-start our sales group and help us build on the momentum that we gave going into the 2011 season."
Earlier this month, LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan outlined the key strategic initiatives of the LPGA: Global - new events in the U.S. and abroad; Partnership - consistently increasing the value to our current business partners; and Responsibility - embracing the history of the LPGA and making a commitment to the future of the women's game.
"It's a thrill to join the LPGA given the direction of the association and the leadership and vision demonstrated by Commissioner Whan, Jon Podany and others on the LPGA team," Willett said. "This is clearly a sports association on the rise, both in the U.S. and around the world, so I look forward to finding and securing partners who can benefit from the kind of partnership we can deliver."
Willett, a Bucknell University graduate with an MBA from the University of Denver, began his career in publishing, working for Conde Nast (Glamour Magazine), Time Inc. (Sports Illustrated / Sports Illustrated for Kids magazines) and the Gannett Corporation (USA Today). He joined the ESPN family in 2000, serving as Ad Sales Director for ESPN.com. He subsequently worked in several different roles there, including serving as ESPN Senior Director, Business Development.
In March 2009, Willett joined Quick Hit, Inc., which produced an online football game, as its Vice President of Sales, then joined Kaleidoscope Sports and Entertainment--an IPG, Inc. company--as Executive Vice President of Sales early last year. At Kaleidoscope, Willett has been managing the sales force and working closely with IPG sister agencies including Octagon.
The LPGA worked with TeamWork Consulting on the executive search for the Vice President, Business Development position.
Topics: Press Release