Ex-Diageo marketer Ballesty to lead Foxtel sports marketing

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 18 September 2018

Former Diageo marketing boss Adam Ballesty has resurfaced as the head of marketing for Foxtel's sports division.

The move follows his departure from Diageo in May after six years at the business. Ballesty will report to recently appointed Foxtel CMO Andy Lark.

The appointment by Foxtel indicates a greater investment in its sport offering, with Ballesty charged with managing the marketing, brand, design and publicity team at Fox Sports as well as leading the sports marketing agenda at Foxtel.

"Adam brings a wealth of experience to our family and has great relationships with the NRL and AFL, which he nurtured through sponsorship deals he’s been involved with and we’re thrilled he’s joining us," Lark says.

"He’s already hit the ground running as he brings his relationships and unique talents to bear driving our Fox Sports marketing programmes."

Ballesty's appointment also comes ahead of the first summer of cricket under the new Cricket Australia broadcast rights deal, which sees Foxtel and Seven split the broadcast of various men's and women's games across the two networks.

The deal sees Seven pick up domestic test matches, including one Ashes series, and the majority of the Big Bash League.

While Foxtel has the exclusive rights to some Big Bash League games, ODIs and T20s and will simulcast domestic international cricket.

The move could also see Ballesty lead the marketing for the rumoured phase out of Foxtel Now, which is expected to be split to include a new sports and entertainment streaming service to compete with the likes of Netflix, Stan and Optus.

“Sport has always been a space that I wanted to return to following my time working with the NRL and AFL and Fox Sports is the number one name in sports broadcasting that just keeps getting stronger, especially with the upcoming arrival of cricket giving Foxtel year-round sports coverage," Ballesty says.

"I’m excited to join the team at such a high energy time and look forward to helping Patrick, Peter and Andy deliver on their vision for Australian sport broadcasting.”

Speaking to AdNews this month, Lark said the current challenge with the brand is to ensure customer longevity and loyalty, adding that these are areas where streaming services can “fall over”, while Foxtel has multiple content categories that ensure subscriber renewal, including its significant sport offering.

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