Lee Ann Daly, 40, ESPN's energetic senior vice president of marketing, has delivered critical acclaim, awards and ratings for the sports network since she arrived in 1997. As anchor Dan Patrick would say, "You can't stop her -- you can only hope to contain her."
Ms. Daly oversees a staff of 35 and is responsible for the development, direction and implementation of all branding, advertising, creative services and marketing for the Walt Disney Co. sports unit and affiliated businesses. She is a force to be reckoned with.
"She can be in your face when she has to be, and be the warmest, most supportive person when she has to be," says Aaron Taylor, ESPN's vice president of marketing.
37.3 million homes
For the first quarter of 2002, the cumulative audience of all SportsCenter shows was at its highest point in the last four years -- 37.3 million households, according to Nielsen Media Research.
"She's a real inspiration to people she works with," adds Mr. Taylor. "She's known for her enthusiastic, aggressive and creative thinking. She challenges everybody. ... She keeps us honest, making sure that we're always developing programming or concepts that are really from the mind-set of our fan."
Ms. Daly, who joined ESPN in 1997, was instrumental in developing the award-winning "This is SportCenter" campaign produced by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., that achieved cult status among sports fans. In addition, Ms. Daly has been a champion of ESPN original programming.
Are These My Shoes?
Ms. Daly began courting ESPN in the '90s from the New York radio production company she founded called Are These My Shoes? Productions. As general manager and executive producer, she oversaw humor-based original programming and radio commercials for clients including ESPN.
Ms. Daly also spent time on the agency side at Ammirati Puris Lintas and Grey Global Group's Grey Advertising.