ESPN named Laura Gentile senior vice president of marketing, where she’ll be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the brand across media and expanding ESPN’s reach to new audiences and sports fans.
A 15-year veteran at ESPN, the promotion returns Gentile to her roots in advertising and marketing.
“Laura’s keen eye for marketing and her insight into our brand, given her vast experience across a number of ESPN businesses, has contributed to her being the right person at the right time to lead this important effort and dynamic group,” ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.
Gentile has held various roles at ESPN, most recently she serving as senior vice president of business operations and content strategy. She was instrumental in launching espnW, ESPN’s first dedicated business built to serve women, which debuted in December 2010. She was promoted to senior vice president, espnW and Women’s Initiatives in November 2015.
Before researching and launching espnW, Gentile served as vice president, chief of staff at ESPN. In that role, she worked directly with George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports, on all aspects of the division’s business. She started at ESPN in the consumer marketing department, where she was responsible for driving the marketing direction for properties including the NFL, SportsCenter, the NHL as well as ESPN25, ESPN’s year-long 25th anniversary campaign.
Gentile was named this year to the Forbes “Most Powerful Women in U.S. Sports.” She was named to the Women’s Sports Foundation Advisory Panel and was a fellow of WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Class XVII. She was named to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 Class of 2012 and an SBJ Game-Changer.
A graduate of Duke University in 1994 with a double major in English and political science, she earned an MBA in marketing and organizational behavior from Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management in 1996. While an undergraduate, Gentile garnered All-America and All-ACC honors in field hockey and was a two-time team captain. She led Duke to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary field hockey team.