ESPN, Weather Shake Up Big Data Roles

ESPN Wednesday named Vikram Somaya senior vice president and global data officer, a new role inside the media company recognizing the expanding role data is playing in generating revenue for publishers. Somaya -- who reports to ESPN President-Global Sales & Marketing Ed Erhardt -- joins from The Weather Co., where he was general manager of its AdFX division, which markets weather-related data to agencies and brands to help them market better.

Meanwhile, Weather Co. Chief Global Revenue Officer Curt Hecht tapped one of his former VivaKi colleagues  -- Domenic Venuto -- to serve as the new general manager of AdFX.

Venuto most recently was global president-data, technology and partnerships at VivaKi, a unit of of Publicis. He reports to fellow VivaKi alum Hecht at Weather Co.

The moves at both big media companies come at a time when data is playing an increasing role in media planning and buying, and especially in programmatic trading.



For example, AdFX released launched a data management ad-targeting platform. Hecht notes in a release that one of Venuto's main tasks at The Weather Co. is to bring that tech to marketers worldwide.

For its part, ESPN intends to “challenge traditional thinking to expand the role [data] can play in the growing content usage and increasing marketing effectiveness,” stated Ed Erhardt, president of global sales and marketing at ESPN. The large sports broadcaster recently announced that it is launching a data management platform (DMP).

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