VP, Visual Technology (Class 32) ESPN
Marina Escobar was named ESPN’s vice president, advanced technology group in 2016. With more than 30 years of experience in media, she leads a team responsible for all design, development and delivery of visual technologies, including on-screen enhancements, advanced computer vision, and graphical creative development. This group works closely with engineering and infrastructure to better integrate and support new tools and solutions for powering visual content across screens.
Escobar joined ESPN in March 2008 as senior director of creative technology, a position that capitalized on her unique combination of design skills and understanding of data and real-time graphics software. Her team was tasked with re-thinking and defining how ESPN achieved success through new ideas and technologies.
Her team was responsible for many innovative technologies including EA Virtual Playbook and Tabletop, remote and studio production virtual applications, Bottom Line, SportsCenter Rundown and remote and studio graphics integration. She also worked on high-profile projects such as the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, X Games, the 2014 BCS Megacast and the launch of Digital Center 2 in May 2014. Escobar and her team have garnered many Sports Emmy Awards for their technical achievements. Most recently, her team received the 2019 George Wensel Technical Emmy for their 3D K-Zone technology. In addition, Escobar was honored with a 2014 Best of Disney award for LOOM, the pixel-processing system that composites visual stories in real-time on a multi-dimensional wall in the new SportsCenter studio.
Prior to joining ESPN, Escobar worked for and consulted with a wide range of companies including Discreet Logic (1998-2001), CNBC (2006-07), WBIS (1996-98) and Dow Jones Television. She was the creative services director for Melting Icecube Consultants where she utilized her background in real-time data design to offer clients a 360-service experience, including oversight of template creation scripts, workflow design and integration with data feeds.
As CNBC’s interim creative director, Escobar led and monitored the second phase of their real-time graphics re-design, working closely with the CEO and the senior leadership team to deliver the final phase of the project. In 2000, she was the director of broadcast creative services for Discreet, a division of Autodesk, where her unique skill set drove accounts in a previously under tapped broadcast marketplace. She was a key contributor in securing the use of real-time graphics for major broadcast accounts by helping to target, interpret and analyze customer product requirements and built a team of technical and creative experts within the organization to build better-broadcast products.
In 2001, Escobar chose a different career path, following her passion for food, and became a restaurateur, owning La Pequeña Colombia until 2008, when she joined ESPN. While working in the restaurant business, she was recognized as one of New York City’s “Successful Business Leaders.” She describes this experience as “a commitment in transferring life lessons across disciplines and the importance of taking risks.” Taking advantage of her diverse career choices and her bicultural nature, she volunteered for the New Immigrant Community Empowerment program of New York City, assisting immigrant children through her own life experiences.
Escobar earned her bachelor of arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Oklahoma with advanced studies in graphic design and theatre arts.
In 2013, Escobar was named a Sports Business Journal “Idea Innovator.” In 2015, she was awarded the WICT Technical Achievement Award. That same year, she was chosen to represent ESPN in the Global Sports Mentoring Program. Escobar is a Betsy Magness Leadership Development Fellow and a member of NAMIC’s Class X Executive Leadership Development Program. In 2017, Escobar was recognized with other ESPN colleagues as Cablefax Most Powerful Women in cable.
Escobar resides in Connecticut with her husband and her 3 children.