Brings global consumer brand leadership from Virgin Mobile, The National Football League, MTV, “Saturday Night Live” and Quaker Oats to lead EMI’s marketing in #1 music market
New York, September 29, 2008 – EMI Music has appointed Howard Handler to the new role of Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing, in North America. Handler, who has led marketing for well-known digital, entertainment, sports and consumer brands such as Virgin Mobile, the National Football League, MTV and The Quaker Oats Company will be based in New York and will oversee all marketing functions for EMI’s roster of recording artists in the US and Canada. He reports to Sam van der Feltz, President of Global Marketing, and is a member of EMI Music’s North American management team, under the leadership of Regional President Colin Finkelstein.
Beginning October 1, Handler will assume responsibility for artist marketing, advertising, publicity, promotion, video production, digital and tour marketing for artists on EMI Music’s North American labels including Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Latin (EMI’s joint venture with Televisa), Capitol Nashville, Manhattan and Virgin.
“Howard brings a perfect combination of experience to this role. He has successfully enhanced brand equity and built businesses for world-reknowned names in entertainment, sports, new media and consumer products,” said van der Feltz. “His creativity, experience, relationships and leadership will be extremely valuable to us as we increase EMI’s focus on the consumer and help artists create more powerful connections with their fans.”
“EMI is racing towards the future with all the key ingredients to change the game – a vibrant line up of artists, a legendary catalogue, a talented team, great commercial partners and an ambitious set of plans,” said Handler. “I look forward to helping create a richer understanding of music fans and further energizing and innovating how we can help fans discover and engage with their favorite artists and music in general.”
Handler has more than 20 years’ experience in creating and building global consumer brands and businesses. Prior to EMI, Handler was Chief Marketing Officer for Virgin Mobile USA; the US’s first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and youth-oriented wireless service. Joining soon after launch in 2003, he led marketing, sales, product development and customer relationship management efforts that grew Virgin Mobile’s subscriber base from 300,000 to more than 5 million, increased revenues to $1.2 billion, earned the JD Power award two years in a row and played an integral part in the company’s 2007 IPO. Before Virgin, he was President and CEO of Burly Bear Network, a venture-backed, college cable network and marketing services company.
As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Fan Development at the National Football League, Handler was the NFL’s first marketing chief, where he created the NFL’s integrated youth initiative, “Play Football,” and built an extensive fan database and direct/e-commerce marketing profit center.
Earlier, Handler served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for MTV where he played a central role in the launch of “Beavis & Butt-head,” “The Jon Stewart Show,” “The Real World,” and the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “Choose or Lose” voter awareness campaign. Handler was also VP of marketing and merchandising at Broadway Video Entertainment, Lorne Michaels’ diversified entertainment company whose properties included “Saturday Night Live” and “Wayne’s World – The Movie.” He began his career as in brand management at The Quaker Oats Company.
Handler, who is originally from Detroit, earned a Masters of Business Administration as well as a Bachelor of Arts, Economics and History degree from the University of Michigan.
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About EMI Music
EMI Music is the recorded music division of EMI Group Limited, one of the world’s leading music companies. EMI Music represents artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, EMI Televisa Music, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin.
Jeanne Meyer, 212.786.8850