Desser brings broad and deep experience in the business, presentation and technology of worldwide sports content delivery across all platforms to NHRA’s board at this key time as the sanctioning body increases its reach through television and digital technology opportunities in today’s changing media landscape.
“We’re very happy to welcome Ed Desser to the NHRA Board of Directors,” Gardner said. “When I joined NHRA, we could not have imagined the media landscape that exists today. With some of the most exciting content on the planet, we look forward to Ed sharing his expertise to help expose our phenomenal sport to the biggest audiences possible and to increase the reach of our “extreme” sport to new fans including our growing youth market. More media exposure for our sport benefits everyone, from members and track owners to participants, sponsors, fans and beyond.”
“Growing up in Southern California, I’ve always followed NHRA,” said Desser. “There’s truly nothing like NHRA drag racing on the planet—the ultimate extreme sport! I’ve been fascinated with NHRA since I really got to know the sport, and the people in it, starting in 2014 during a consulting project focused on the organization’s TV options. I’m honored to have been asked to be a part of the sport going forward in this important role. I am anxious to learn even more and harness my experience to contribute to the board in any way that I can to help grow and strengthen the sport.”
Desser’s career started in local broadcasting in Los Angeles after which he served 23 years as the senior media executive with the National Basketball Association. He spearheaded the exploration and development of many pioneering technologies for NBA, ranging from the early use of high definition TV and direct broadcast satellite, development of the NBA’s and all teams’ original websites, delivering real-time game statistics, and creating NBA TV, the first major league-owned TV network. In 2002 Desser was named the NBA’s Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Development, Office of the Commissioner. He led the NBA’s business planning process and the NBA Board of Governors’ Planning Committee.
Desser now leads consulting firm Desser Sports Media, Inc. (www.desser.tv), where he has negotiated well over 50 sports and media rights deals on behalf of rights owners. In addition, DSM works on the rights buying and programming distribution side of the industry, helping major Fortune 500 entertainment, media and distribution companies.
Desser will join current board members Gardner, Michael Cohen, Ken Clapp, NHRA President Peter Clifford and NHRA Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Graham Light, effective immediately.