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Associate Director, Creative Innovation


Working at ESPN is unlike anything else. That’s because we’re always finding new ways to serve sports fans – however and wherever they connect with sports. When you have the latest technology, game-changing ideas and world-class talent on your team, every day is extraordinary.
We are seeking a driven and highly creative innovative leader with proven experience leading teams that create innovative experiences and / or products in a fast-paced environment. As Associate Director, you will be responsible for leading a team from ideation, to concepting, to design and prototype, to finally delivering new disruptive products for sports fans.
This group will be responsible for creating new and fresh fan-facing products using innovative technology. The Associate Director, Creative Innovation will also be responsible for maintaining both internal and external relationships, setting strategies and pitching to executive leadership, advancing revenue opportunities, managing timeline and budget, and increasing the team’s opportunities to support growing demands.
You must possess exceptional aesthetic judgment with the experiences of delivering products/experiences from scratch, a deep understanding of how technology can be leveraged to develop a great product, be versed in the latest technology developments and trends, be highly collaborative, be a great presenter, and be a great communicator and motivator. ResponsibilitiesThe intersection of creative and technology results in innovative ideas and products. The Advanced Technology Group has formed a Creative Innovation team that will be focused on continuous brainstorming and prototyping of creative ideas that will push us forward with new solutions, approaches and platforms.
This team is led by the Senior Director, Creative Innovation who reports to the Vice President of Advanced Technology Group. This position will report to the Senior Director, Creative Innovation. Located in Bristol, CT, the Associate Director, Creative Innovation will be responsible for:

  • Creating disruptive and innovative fan-facing products
  • Overseeing, coaching, and guiding one team consisting of Creative Innovation Manager, Creative Innovation Lead and Creative Innovators from conceptualizing all way to delivering products
  • Providing direction on creating product/experience development management and coordination between groups
  • Making recommendations for annual budgetary elements of performance management (merit, promotion, awards, etc.)
  • Day to day performance, operation and results of a creative team
  • Working with internal partners and/or 3rd party vendors to apply concept to innovative uses of new and emerging technology in new products
  • Virtually managing Engineers on the Innovation Technology team to turn concept/ideas to new products
  • Leading brainstorming and ideation sessions internally and with partners.
  • Collaborating with management on personnel, project priorities, schedules, cost, vendor integration, budgeting and forecasting
  • Assessing cost implication and savings.
  • Assessing risks of implementation
  • Talent development of skills-sets such as concepting, prototyping, production products/experience and delivery
  • Requesting management and scope evaluation / cost analysis, working with team members assigned to various projects
  • Contract negotiations with 3rd parties and partner relationships
  • Continuous process improvement, training and development of innovators
  • Setting strategies and pitching to executive leadership
  • Building a recommendation on annual budgetary elements of performance management (merit, promotion, awards, etc.)
  • Providing accurate cost assessments for specific product efforts when necessary, working with development teams
  • Identifying areas in need of workflow improvements and provide/educate/implement process solutions
  • Providing timely communication with regards to requirements interpretation and feedback, as well as project status, decisions, and action items
  • Working closely with Product team to satisfy fans’ needs and concerns
  • Making decisions regarding product requirements and timelines, and how to communicate changes in complex situations
  • Providing direction on workflow enhancements and implications
  • Providing direction on concept validity and value
  • Strategic communication and working with partners across Technology to ensure that we are delivering experiences and products for sports fans
  • Timeline communication with internal partners on conception, prototyping, implementation schedules, project statues reporting and troubleshooting
  • Relationship management with key strategic partners, 3rd party vendors and external partners

Basic Qualifications

  • College degree or equivalent work experience required. Candidate must have a minimum of 8-10 years of experience in a creative-related environment, brand marketing, design/copywriting and/or a working knowledge of how to create ideas using technologies
  • Strong management experience with a minimum of 4 years
  • Proven track record of creating innovative experiences/products
  • Deep understanding of processes that deliver the highest-quality creative work
  • Must be self-motivated and curious to research/evaluate new technology
  • Must have strong communication, problem-solving and analytical skills and understand platform/experience development methodologies
  • Expert in new technology, gadgets social platforms, etc.
  • Demonstrated ability to comprehend and manage rapid development cycles; remains flexible and calm in the face of uncertainty
  • Have experience being a part of leading business
  • Experience with building creative and consumer-facing experiences either digitally or physically
  • Understanding of business implications and strategies
  • Broad background in creative direction and/or design
  • Dynamic, learning agile and driven
  • Proven creative leader that can align a team around a vision
  • A positive force who leads with inspiration and passion
  • Deep experience managing and building teams and processes that deliver the highest-quality creative work
  • The ability to excel at both a strategic and executional level
  • A deep understanding of market-wide technology trends and themes
  • Lead brainstorming and ideation sessions internally and with partners
  • Strong business acumen
  • Outstanding communication, organizational and leadership skills
  • Excellent verbal and written skills
  • Strong presentation skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of design/graphics software (ie. Adobe CS)
  • Deep knowledge of technology development process (i.e., wireframe, POC, backend, QA)

Required Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent work experience required

Company Overview At Disney, we‘re storytellers. We make the impossible, possible. We do this through utilizing and developing cutting-edge technology and pushing the envelope to bring stories to life through our movies, products, interactive games, parks and resorts, and media networks. Now is your chance to join our talented team that delivers unparalleled creative content to audiences around the world.
Additional InformationESPN is an equal opportunity employer - Female/Minority/Veteran/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity. Our goal is to create an inclusive workplace for all.

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