In his first official duty as chairman and CEO of motor racing icon Formula 1, chairman and CEO Chase Carey has named former ESPN executive vice president of sales and marketing Sean Bratches as managing director, commercial operations and Ross Brawn as managing director, motor sports.
Bratches, a 27-year veteran of the network, most recently led ESPN’s sales and marketing efforts before stepping down last year. During his watch, ESPN attracted the highest affiliate fees of any pay TV network.
Brawn, a Formula 1 legend with a 40 year engineering and management career in motor racing, has won 22 World FIA Championships and the Le Mans 24 Hours. His honors include 11 world titles with Ferrari and seven as part of Williams and Benetton. He went on to win the 2009 F1 World Drivers and Constructors' Championships with his own BrawnGP team, the Honda F1 team he rescued and renamed. Ross sold the team to Mercedes-Benz in 2010 and, over three years, laid the foundation that enabled the team to win the 2014, 2015 and 2016 World Titles.
Bratches oversaw ESPN’s two primary revenue streams, advertising and sponsor sales and content licensing, as well as the research and analytics, marketing, consumer products and events marketing divisions.
He led a sales and marketing team that provided national advertisers access to ESPN’s premier media and marketing platforms and oversaw all content licensing for the domestic cable and satellite networks of The Walt Disney Co. including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN SEC Network, The Longhorn Network and ESPN3.
“I am thrilled Sean is joining Formula 1,” Carey said in a statement. “Sean was a driving force in building ESPN into one of the world's leading sports franchises. His expertise and experience in sales, marketing, digital media, and distribution will be invaluable as we grow Formula 1.
“I look forward to working with Ross and Sean, as well as key current executives including Duncan Llowarch, our CFO, and Sacha Woodward Hill, our General Counsel, the FIA, Bernie and Liberty as we work together to make Formula 1 the best it can be for the teams, promoters and fans for years to come,” Carey added.
“I’m very excited to be joining Formula 1 and contribute to the continued growth of this extraordinary global brand and sport,” Bratches said in a statement. “Formula 1 is one of few truly global tier one sports, and I am encouraged by the manifold opportunities to materially grow the business, work closely with current and future sponsors, race circuits, television rights holders as well as create next generation digital and on-site race experiences to best serve the Formula 1 fans.”