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ESPN announced today that Rick Alessandri, senior vice president, general manager, ESPN Consumer Products, will add the title of Managing Director, X Games Franchise, to his current responsibilities. Alessandri’s role is international in scope, managing the global X Games franchise, including the two U.S. X Games events, and developing new business initiatives that will continue to grow the X Games brand, including EXPN.com. He will begin his new role in Aspen / Snowmass at the sixth annual Winter X Games, Jan 25-28.
Alessandri will work under the direction of Ron Semiao, X Games creator and senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment, and continue to report to Salil Mehta, executive vice president, ESPN Enterprises, whose new media, publishing, home entertainment and consumer products businesses include all X Games franchise extensions. Jack Wienert, executive director, EOE Events and Chris Stiepock, general manager, X Games, who have worked on the X Games Franchise since the first event in 1995, will report to Alessandri.
“It’s an exciting time for the X Games franchise and I am happy that Rick is joining us in our efforts to take the brand as a whole into the future,” Semiao said. “Rick has an intimate understanding of the X Games, successfully launching the brand into new areas with strategic brand extensions. His insight and expertise will help us enhance our leadership position in action sports.”
Alessandri said: “Under Ron’s leadership and vision the X Games have established an unparalleled platform for action sports competition, and its global growth potential is significant. I am pleased to have the opportunity to work in collaboration with Ron, the X team, sponsors and the athletes to help steer the X Games franchise into a second decade of success."
Alessandri has been senior vice president of ESPN Consumer Products since February 2006, where he successfully launched the ESPN and X Games brands into a multitude of new categories and brand extensions, including skateboards, bikes, home entertainment and apparel. In 2000, Alessandri was named vice president, assistant to ESPN President George Bodenheimer, where he worked on a variety of strategic initiatives, including overseeing ESPN’s entrance into various wireless initiatives. He joined ESPN in 1994 after ESPN acquired SportsTicker, the 24-hour leading supplier of real-time sports news and information, where he was vice president, general manager.