Comcast Sports Group has named Stephanie Lafair Smith, who had been heading its regional sports network in Philadelphia, to lead its corporate marketing efforts.
Smith, presently the president of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, which scored solid ratings gains with its coverage of the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, will begin serving as CSG senior vice president of strategic marketing on Jan. 5. In her new post, Smith will continue to report to CSG president Jon Litner.
Officials at CSG said the unit will conduct a search to find a replacement for Smith to lead the RSN, which also presents contests involving the National Hockey League Flyers and the 76ers, the National Basketball Association franchise owned by Comcast.
Smith joined Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia prior to the network’s launch in 1997 to lead the new network’s marketing and branding efforts and was subsequently promoted to vice president and general manager, then to its presidency. Prior to joining Comcast SportsNet she served as a marketing and business development executive for Philadelphia Magazine.
“With the rapid growth of our networks into additional markets and onto emerging platforms, Comcast Sports Group has the opportunity to deepen the connection between our networks and the passionate fans we serve,” said Litner. “Stephanie’s experience as a network operator, a marketing professional, and a creative leader make her uniquely suited for this new challenge.”
Noted Smith: “Having been involved in the growth of our regional sports business from our first network launch more than 10 years ago, I am excited to join the Comcast Sports Group management team to help ensure that our networks’ leadership position in the minds and hearts of local sports fans remains strong as our business continues to evolve.”