Roberts: Deepening a Marketing Tradition

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It seemed only fitting to the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing's board that they honor Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts with its top honor — the Grand Tam Award. After all, this year's CTAM Summit will be held in his hometown of Philadelphia July 24-26.

Roberts is the undisputed king of cable right now. And Comcast has been at the forefront of launching and marketing new services to its customers and continues to be a leader in all aspects.

“The Grand Tam Award is given every year to a leader in the industry who has given his or her time and talent to further the industry and their company in the eyes of consumers,” says Char Beales, CTAM's president and CEO. “With Brian, the board honed in on his leadership within the industry. But at the same time, he is busy transforming Comcast into a marketing leader. He is the industry leader today without a doubt, and we wanted to salute and honor that.”

Comcast's juggernaut counts 22 million customers with a few million more waiting in the wings as the company completes its joint purchase of Adelphia Communications Corp. with Time Warner Cable. The MSO has a stable of programming assets including E! Entertainment Television, G4, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, AZN Television, PBS Kids Sprout, TV One and four Comcast SportsNets.

The company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers National Hockey League team, the Philadelphia 76ers National Basketball Association team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.

Roberts was unavailable to talk directly about his latest award, but he did pass on some thoughts electronically. “I am honored and appreciate this recognition,” he wrote. “We have and continue to attract great marketing professionals at Comcast, and this award recognizes the many creative people on our team at the corporate and system levels, led by Dave Watson [executive vice president of operations] and Marvin Davis [senior vice president of marketing].”

Comcast's tradition of savvy and cutting-edge marketing tactics runs long and deep. The company won 16 Mark Awards.

“My father Ralph proudly began his career as a marketer, so marketing has always been a part of our business DNA at Comcast,” Roberts wrote. “His influence is more helpful today than ever before as we offer up an ever-growing package including digital cable, video on demand, HDTV, digital video recorders, high-speed Internet and voice. It is critical to communicate effectively as we face greater and greater competition.”

That's where CTAM comes in, he wrote. The trade organization has long been instrumental in helping operators fine-tune their marketing message to consumers. “CTAM is a tremendous resource for all of us as our products get more complex and the competition gets even hotter,” Roberts wrote. “I'm excited that the summit is being held in our hometown this year. I look forward to hearing about the marketing ideas and strategies to give consumers — in retail, on the air, on the street, and in person — the best possible reasons to choose cable.”