Joel Ehrlich, a former exec at both Marvel and DC, has joined the International Fight League as Chief Marketing Officer and President of Sales. You’ll recall that the IFL is co-owned by Wizard’s Gareb Shamus.
The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s first team-based professional mixed martial arts league, announced today that Joel Ehrlich has been named to the newly-created position of Chief Marketing Officer and President of Sales. Ehrlich, one of the most well-known and respected brand builders in the industry for over 25 years, will begin the new full-time position immediately. He will oversee and coordinate all of the sales efforts as well as creating, identifying and implementing new strategic relationships with IFL partners.
“We are elated that Joel has decided to join the IFL,” said IFL co-founder and CEO Gareb Shamus. “His limitless contacts and stellar reputation as one of the most creative minds in the marketing industry will be a huge asset both to the IFL and to the fast-growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts.”
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I join the IFL,” Ehrlich added. “The sport of Mixed Martial Arts is quickly gaining traction in the mainstream through the efforts of people like Gareb and Kurt Otto, and I am looking forward to helping partner some of the world’s greatest brands with the compelling and charismatic athletes and coaches that the make up the IFL. I’m also excited about further developing our relationship with Fox Sports Network (FSN) and MyNetworkTV, who have agreed to air weekly IFL programming.”
Ehrlich’s career reads like a marketing success guide for some of the world’s most prominent and powerful entertainment brands. His influence on the companies and brands he championed are directly reflected in significantly increased profits and revenues, and in the innovative and imaginative marketing methods he used to achieve those goals. His successes include stops at:
* Cahners Publishing, where he partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics to create the Healthy Kids magazine and cable television show—the first consumer magazine and TV show endorsed by a prestigious medical organization. His innovative marketing ideas for Cahners’ Modern Bride Group saw profits double in just 18 months.
* Marvel Entertainment, where, as senior vice president of corporate sales, he showed the world that Spider-Man, X-Men and the Hulk could feed, teach, build self-esteem and stimulate the imagination—all while skyrocketing sales for both Marvel and its partnering companies.
* DC Comics and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, where he increased licensed promotions revenues more than 600% by developing custom partnerships between comic book superheroes and companies such as the United States Postal Service, Schering-Plough and Got Milk!
* Young Minds Inspired (YMI) was his most recent venture (as president/owner and chief operating officer). In less than three years he tripled the number of programs, expanded the breath of offerings from preschool through college, branched out into new media formats and created value-added components.
His efforts as a strategic, creative and innovative marketer have been recognized by his peers and the industry. Ehrlich’s work gained the endorsements of the United States Surgeon General, the National Institutes of Health, and Planned Parenthood. In 1995, he was honored with the prestigious “Youth Marketer of the Year” award from Brandweek Magazine. Originally a teacher, Ehrlich was selected in 1974 as a New York State “Teacher of the Year” for his innovative approaches to learning. He also served as a Northeast trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
A Bronx native, Ehrlich attended the High School of the Performing Arts in New York, and has a degree in speech and theater from Hunter College. He, his wife Phyllis (a senior executive at Cartoon Network), and three children reside in Scarsdale, N.Y.