RIT alumnus inducted into broadcasting Hall of Fame

Sean R.H. Bratches ‘84 (business administration) to be honored

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Sean R.H. Bratches ‘84 (business administration), executive vice president of sales and marketing for ESPN, will be inducted into the 24th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame on Oct. 20.

Bratches, who started working for ESPN in 1988, will be honored for his numerous contributions to ESPN and the cable industry. Beyond leading ESPN’s sales and marketing efforts, Bratches also oversees the company’s research and analytics group and is a member of the board of directors. His most recent success was the introduction of WatchESPN, an online streaming service that brought ESPN’s networks online, in 2010.

“This business is moving incredibly fast because of rapid technological changes and consumer adaptations to those changes,” said Bratches. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a position where I’ve been able to influence some of that change and help evolve ESPN’s brand in that environment.”

The prestigious honor is far from the first that Bratches has been awarded in his prolific career. Bratches received two Vanguard awards in 2001 and 2009. He has been ranked in the CableFax Magazine top 100 “cable heavy hitters” since 1999 and was also inducted into CableFax Sales Hall of Fame in 2009. But despite of all of his success, Bratches still manages to keep his eyes on the future.

“When I got the call, the first thing I said to them was ‘I think I’m too young for this,’” said Bratches. “I have 10 or 15 years left of grinding in me—it’s not over.”

Bratches is also a member of the RIT Sports Hall of Fame for lacrosse and distinguished service. During his time as a Tiger, Bratches played under legendary lacrosse coach William “Bill” Tierney, who Bratches credits as an instrumental figure in shaping him as a young man.

“I got a great education at RIT, surrounded by incredibly interested professors and administrators, and I walked away with lifelong friends,” said Bratches. “It’s been an extraordinarily positive part of my life and my career.”

Other honorees of the evening include Bud Selig, the ninth commissioner of Major League Baseball, and Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America news program. Bratches and his fellow industry luminaries will be officially inducted at a ceremonial dinner in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel.