ESPN is a brand known for firing on all fronts, from television and radio, to digital and mobile. Playing an integral role in that effort is Carol Kruse, who joined the company in 2010 to spearhead all marketing efforts related to the ESPN brand. Specifically, that means Kruse oversees ESPN's internal creative services team, events team, customer care, and fan relationship marketing. She also drives ESPN's social networking strategies. In concrete terms, Kruse has had a big impact on the brand, taking ESPN's iconic "This is Sports Center" campaign and giving it a digital makeover by including fan ideas and online parodies.
Prior to joining ESPN, Kruse spent nine years at the Coca-Cola company, where she led the brand's global interactive marketing team. While at Coke, Kruse led her team in the development of the "My Coke Rewards" loyalty and relationship marketing program, which debuted in 2006, and currently has more than 16 million members.
Kruse was recently named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011. She has also received the ad:tech Lifetime Achievement Award, MediaPost's Online All Star Award, and many other industry recognitions. She holds a B.S. from Pomona College and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
Fun fact: Kruse co-founded RocketCash LLC, an online payments and consumer promotions startup that was acquired by Coke in 2001.