Yardbarker, the online sports community and branded vertical ad network, announced today that it has hired digital sales veteran Tim Ware as Vice President of Advertising Sales.
The Business of Sports Network (Bizball LLC) has recently signed on as a partner in the Yardbarker Network.
With nearly 20 years experience in the electronic media space, including the last nine with ESPN Internet Group, Ware has been charged with ramping up Yardbarker's advertising business and has opened the company's New York office. He will report directly to CEO Pete Vlastelica. The hire comes just two weeks after Yardbarker closed its $6 million Series B round of financing, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Ware's first job at ESPN was managing advertising sales for league sites, NFL.com, NBA.com and NASCAR.com. Before joining ESPN, Ware held Sales Manager positions for NHL.com and Internet start-up, InterZine productions. Prior to working in the Internet business, Ware negotiated national, regional and local sports sponsorships on behalf of McCann-Erickson and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.
"As the Yardbarker Network continues to grow we have been focused on building our sales team and we are thrilled to land someone as accomplished as Tim Ware," Vlastelica said. "Tim has a highly successful track record in digital media sales and understands our business perfectly. He is the ideal person to lead our sales efforts and to open our New York office."
Yardbarker's reports that growth over the past 12 months has dramatic, reaching more than six million unique users in February across 300 independent sports sites in the Yardbarker Network. Celebrity athlete bloggers, including Donovan McNabb, Baron Davis, Dontrelle Willis, and Greg Oden provide content to Yardbarker. Current advertising clients include 2K Sports, vitaminwater, and Sony PlayStation, among other major brands.
"In all of my years in the electronic media space on the buying or selling side, I have not experienced an offering like Yardbarker," Ware said. "Yardbarker offers a very unique sales proposition, combining the best of the sports blogosphere, star athletes and social media that enablesadvertisers to reach a large and elusive audience not found through traditional outlets. Yardbarker also affords its advertising partners social currency through its content offerings, which remains an important and big opportunity for brands trying to stake a claim in the new media environment. Our fans know the score; they crave more when they visit the Yard. It's a very exciting proposition."
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