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Chris Jason
Director of APIs
Jason drives the product, technology, and strategy for the ESPN API program in ESPN Digital Technology, with a relatively straightforward yet endlessly challenging mission: Ensure that sports fans enjoy a great digital experience with ESPN, no matter where they are and on what device. With previous ESPN experience managing search product development, SEO and Web analytics for ESPN Digital Media, Jason’s current task is also his biggest and most important. But the evidence is in—and consumers continue to flock to ESPN’s many robust online and mobile offerings. In fact, it’s arguable that no content provider has come close to providing so much diverse content, over so many platforms, and doing it so exceedingly well as ESPN. That’s a testament to Jason and his many colleagues who make sure those bells and whistles keep making beautiful music for sports fans everywhere.
What personal qualities do you think have helped you get to your current position—and which ones (that you either now possess or must work on) will advance you to the next level?
I think the things that have gotten me to my current level are hard work, building and maintaining relationships with the right people and learning from them, staying confident in my abilities and viewpoints, jumping at any big opportunities that show up along the way, and most importantly, following my passion. I’ve always been a sports fanatic and equally as passionate and interested in technology. My career at ESPN is the perfect mix of those two things. It’s easy to find success in your career when it doesn’t feel like a job, and most of the things I do at ESPN every day I would do as a hobby even if I never had the opportunity to work here.
Getting to the next level is all about challenging one’s comfort zone. For me, this means I will need to learn new skills and fundamentals outside of my expertise in Digital Media (such as traditional broadcast media) and continue to challenge the status quo inside and outside ESPN from a technology and business perspective.
What digital trend will be the biggest game changer in the next 1-3 years?
As far as digital trends, I think we will continue to see innovations around bringing content experiences anywhere and being able to personalize those experiences. ESPN is off to a great start with WatchESPN and making our programming available across the Web, mobile, tablets, and game consoles, but the real challenge is going to be adding in all of our other assets (Radio, sports news, video on demand, scores, and stats) and compounding that by an infinite number of non-traditional platforms for digital content delivery, including cars, household appliances, connected TVs, and everything in between. To be able to deliver a top-notch experience that is consistent and follows a user’s preferences across all platforms is a big challenge, but consumers expect it. The companies that can deliver on this will be in a great position to succeed and evolve their business.

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