The NFL is adding to its team, announcing Tim Ellis as its new CMO. Ellis, who most recently served as the chief marketing executive for Activision Blizzard Inc. (the video game holding company behind brands like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty), will start in his new role next month, on September 17.
Before Ellis’ time at Activision Blizzard, where he spent seven years, he held top marketing positions at Volkswagen America and Volvo. He’s been a recipient of the Cannes Lions Titanium award and Adweek’s own Brand Genius award. According to a statement from the NFL, Ellis will head up the organization’s “research, content development, consumer engagement, advertising, promotions, marketing operations and branding” efforts. He’ll report to NFL’s COO Maryann Turcke, who made the hiring announcement.
“We are excited to welcome Tim to the NFL family,” Turcke said in a statement. “Tim’s marketing innovation experience with reaching new audiences via emerging platforms and driving engagement using creative storytelling will further strengthen the NFL brand. As a lifelong football fan, we know Tim is ecstatic about the opportunity to work with our internal teams and partners in building world-class marketing programs that will excite and reward our core audiences, as well as attract and engage future fans.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to lead the marketing program for the NFL,” said Ellis. “For me, football has always been the greatest game on earth, and I’m thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with them.”
Ellis’ appointment comes at a time of continued turmoil for the NFL: protests of police brutality, which were first started by Colin Kaepernick and have seen several other players join in taking a knee during the national anthem, have remained in the headlines as have questions about the NFL’s connections to diagnoses of CTE. He succeeds Dawn Hudson in the position, who left the NFL earlier this year to serve as the CMO for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.