Activision Blizzard took a significant step in the right direction. The video game studio behind popular titles such as Call of Duty and Overwatch announced it has appointed Johanna Faries as the Commissioner of Call of Duty Esports.
Fresh off being named as one of the 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports with the likes of Alex Morgan and Alexys Feaster, as well as one of FORTUNE’s 40 Under 40 Faries is quickly becoming one of the most influential women in sports. As part of her new position, she will oversee the recently announced Call of Duty League (CDL) which revealed has seven franchises ready to go WISE Ventures owns Minnesota, Immortals Gaming Club owns Los Angeles, Atlanta Esports Ventures owns Atlanta, Envy Gaming owns Dallas, Sterling.VC owns New York, c0ntact Gaming owns Paris, and OverActive Media owns Toronto.
Interview with Johanna Faries on the future of #callofduty esports. The newly-appointed Commissioner of @CODWorldLeague's new esports league focuses on growth and fandom.
Interview is here: https://t.co/ZZqGj5fHiy pic.twitter.com/L7nK0aJEGA
— Activision (@Activision) July 9, 2019
As part of the announcement, Fairies spoke on her new role with Activision Games Blog:
“During my initial phase on the job, my team’s focus was really on setting a new product vision for Call of Duty as a city-based franchised league and to design an experience that we believe can grow to become one of the biggest sports leagues on the planet. Now that we have begun to sell franchises to ownership groups all over the world, it’s less about going from a white sheet of paper to what we have shaped now, and more about operating and managing this competitive ecosystem in a best-in-class way.”
“That’s not to say we aren’t still editing – I think every sports league is always in ‘edit’ phase even decades in! But now that we have a strong product vision and business model to share, and have sold in several team franchises in the process, we can now shift gears toward the planning and execution phase of our work. The role of Commissioner oversees all aspects of those dynamics and the key stakeholders involved in making the system go, so it’s a broader platform for management than where we were back in August when the focus was primarily internal-facing and design-driven.”
Faries is no stranger to the sports world, she previously worked for the NFL for 12 years and was responsible for business development, sponsorship and sales, consumer products and retail marketing, and fan development. She later joined the Activision Blizzard as Head of Call of Duty Esports before her level up to Commissioner of the CDL. Big congrats are in order we are looking forward to seeing where she takes the young league.
Photo: Richard Bord / Getty