Profile: Lou Koskovolis

Sep 9, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: Executive VP, national sales and customer marketing, ESPN
Recent interesting deal: “Difficult to separate one or two deals when we are selling everything from X-Games to Super Bowl to the Bowl Championship Series, but the most interesting deals we negotiate are multimedium in nature and culminate with our partner telling us that we helped them move the needle.
“Smirnoff Ice’s presenting sponsorship of `Pardon The Interruption’ [a sports opinions and issues show] is one that comes to mind. They were able to capture lightning in a bottle, committing to a property early, then having it become one of our most successful new programs.”
The next big thing: “I believe the trend toward consolidation in the media business will begin to reverse itself. Could take a while, but it is inevitable. Bigger has not proven to always be better. Clients want more personal attention and TLC.”
Is there anything you wish you had sold less of? “One of my rules of thumb is once we close a deal, don’t look back, good or bad. But there have been marketplaces that were stronger than originally anticipated, where we wished we had more inventory to sell. Certain scatter marketplaces come to mind. The last was first quarter 2002, when `SportsCenter’ was sold out early in the quarter and many of the early spring advertisers could not get in. Come to think of it, I wish I had a few more `Monday Night Football’ units left for this season.”
Is there anything you wish you had sold more of? “Of all the properties we represent, `ESPN Classic’ is one of my personal favorites. Wherever I go, people always tell me how much they enjoy `Classic.’ The passion we feel when we recount a game that had special meaning to us as fans is what we all love about this network. I wish we could take that enthusiasm and use it to generate more sales.”
If you weren’t in media selling: “As a kid, I loved television and I loved sports. I always thought that if I had a job that would combine my love of both TV and sports, I would have my dream job. And in a fantasy world, I would be a defenseman for the New York Rangers.”