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Discovery Communications hires VP of advertiser partnerships for Eurosport

Discovery Communications has named Atsushi Saito as VP of advertiser partnerships for Eurosport in Asia Pacific.

He reports to Jonathan Davies, SVP and managing director, advertiser partnerships. In his new capacity, Saito is tasked to maximise Eurosport’s ad sales efforts in Asia Pacific by providing innovative and bespoke solutions for clients and developing meaningful partnerships.

Saito started his media sales career over 16 years ago with STAR TV, a subsidiary of News Corp and was last with Turner Japan where he served as director, CNN Global Advertising Sales.  Under his leadership, Saito quadrupled CNN’s ad sales revenue and transformed it to be a leading international ad sales business in Japan.

Last week Discovery Communications announced its first Olympic Games sub-licensing deal with the BBC, to make Eurosport the exclusive home of the Olympic Games on pay-TV in the UK between 2018 and 2020. The news follows an agreement announced by Discovery Communications and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last June, which includes exclusive multimedia rights for 50 countries and territories in Europe for the 2018 through the 2024 Olympic Games.

In a press statement, the network said: “With three of these Games to be hosted in Asia, Saito’s proximity to the action will offer a significant market advantage as Discovery look to establish long term partnerships with clients.”

Davies said, “It is Discovery’s ambition to make the Olympic Games available to more people across Europe than ever before, through leveraging our portfolio of pay-TV, free-to-air and digital services. This combined with our other strategic investments in sports rights provide brands and advertisers a unique opportunity to target their customers through great sporting moments all day, and every day.

“Advertisers and brands are evolving into content producers, thinking beyond the ad break to embed themselves in popular culture. With this shift, a top priority for our sales organisation is to provide unique, creative and strategic solutions with the highest level of service.  Atsushi’s rich experience, excellent connections and digital acumen will propel Eurosport’s ad sales growth in Asia Pacific,” Davies added.

Since Discovery took majority ownership of Eurosport in May 2014, the sports destination has been re-branded in November 2015 as the go-to destination for sports fans to “Fuel Your Passion”. Eurosport’s strategy to invest in production and on-air talent and expertise to tell great stories around flagship events, such as the US Open and Tour de France, resulted in a number of accolades for the company in 2015.

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