Activision Blizzard Hires Execs From NHL, NBA, NBC

Sports industry veteran Daniel Cherry III has joined Activision Blizzard, the largest video games publisher with 385 million monthly active users, as chief marketing officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. 

He brings over 20 years of marketing experience to this new role, including as chief marketing and innovation officer for the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center, where he oversaw all marketing/sales strategy, branding, and innovation, as well as being a part of the senior leadership team that supported business operations across multiple professional sports and esports teams. He left that position in January and briefly served as chief strategy officer at Translation, the communications agency, in New York.

Cherry is responsible for overall viewership and brand awareness of two of esports’ most high-profile properties, including the Overwatch League (which features investment from Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots, Jeff Wilpon of the New York Mets and Stan Kroenke of the Los Angeles Rams) and Call of Duty World League, the world’s leading global tournament for one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time.



“The company’s desire to revolutionize the modern sports and entertainment landscape resonates deeply with me, as it does with the millions of passionate fans who make up their global esports communities,” Cherry said in a release. “I’m looking forward to supporting these efforts by celebrating these professional players and growing the esports fan base worldwide.”

The Irvine, Calif.-based company also hired Marc Kolin as vice president of finance and strategy, and Brandon Snow, who has been tapped for the role of chief revenue officer. 

Kolin joins from NBC Universal where he was responsible for all analytics, financial planning and analysis, strategic initiatives, and back-of-house accounting for Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he worked in business development for both the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. 

Snow previously was with the National Basketball Association, where as senior vice president of team marketing and business operations he supported all NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, and NBA2K teams across all aspects of their business operations, including ticket sales and service, sponsorship, marketing, digital and data strategy. Previously he was senior vice president, global marketing partnerships at NBA China.

The three bring a wealth of experience from traditional sports, entertainment, and venue management, and will be supporting several esports goals and initiatives, from viewership and brand awareness (Cherry) to financial oversight and reporting (Kolin) to commercialization and corporate partnerships (Snow), said Pete Vlastelica, president and chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues and Major League Gaming.

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