Head of Sports Business Development & Innovation, ESPN
Mark L. Walker joined ESPN in 2019, as Head of Sports Business Development and Innovation, where he leads ESPN’s business development center of excellence, with particular focus on driving sports media innovation in business, products and experiences.
In his role, Walker is responsible for driving ESPN Edge – a collaboration with other technology leaders to enable new ways for fans to experience sports – continuing to lead ESPN’s strategic efforts in the sports betting space, and expanding The Undefeated content vertical across The Walt Disney Company (TWDC).
Walker joined from the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products franchise group. In that role, he led global segment-wide initiatives aimed at building lifelong relationships between fans and key content franchises from Disney, Marvel, Lucas and Fox. Walker brings a wealth of experience to the innovation and business development disciplines, having led all of product development, marketing, programming, content, and operations for Disney’s network of digital gateways, social media presence and content-delivery apps. He helped transform that collection of Disney marketing platforms into the coherent, multi-platform digital content engine now known as the Disney Digital Network.
Before joining TWDC in 2011, Walker was the head of the Yahoo! News and Information verticals, leading business development teams in the sports, entertainment, and lifestyle spaces. He also held business and legal affairs positions for several entertainment media companies in music, film, and television.
Walker earned a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. He serves as an active member of the Media Arts and Sciences Visiting Committee for the MIT Media Laboratory. He is based out of ESPN’s New York office and reports to Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content.