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27. Carol Kruse

As ESPN's new senior VP of marketing, Carol Kruse is taking "This Is SportsCenter," its satiric ad campaign, beyond TV to include fans' ideas and online parodies. She's also launching a Facebook game that has users run a virtual sports bar. "Marketers like puppies," Kruse says of those who delight in new campaigns, then drop them. But social media is like having a dog. "Every day it's 'How do I engage with my fans?' "


Kruse and Dave Coletti talk about their strategy for World Cup 2010 (top), and a SportsCenter spot with Amare Stoudemire (below).


I think the most creative people are children before they've been told what they can and can't do. When my son would get a Lego set, I'd watch him make the most amazing things that were in his head. Of course a plane could have three wings. That to me is very inspiring.

Do you have a ritual for getting out of a rut?

If I'm blocked, I cycle. It's both social and solitary. I'm usually riding with other people if I'm riding 35-40 miles. I can let my mind go. There are no interruptions, no stimuli. No kids needing me, no co-workers needing me. I'm not on a plane with a gazillion people. I'm outside. That's something I do every weekend. It's good to sweat and think and get your heart pounding. You get in the zone, and you have these little A-ha! moments.