Jim Ward is Vice President of Marketing and Distribution
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JIM WARD Jim Ward is currently a Venture Partner with Alsop Louie Partners, a firm based in San Francisco focused on early stage technology investments. Prior to joining Alsop Louie, Ward was President of LucasArts and Sr. Vice President of Marketing, Distribution and Online at Lucasfilm Ltd. With LucasArts, Ward led the business growth of the video game company, creator of such popular games as Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, along with a slate of original content, such as the best-selling Mercenaries. Additionally, in his role as head of marketing, distribution and online, Ward oversaw the planning, development and execution of global marketing and distribution programs for all of Lucasfilm’s motion picture, television and video properties – including Star Wars and Indiana Jones – as well as all Lucasfilm corporate activities. Ward began his career in advertising, first in New York at Doyle Dane Bernbach, and then as Senior Vice President and General Manager at BBDO/Los Angeles. As an advertising executive, Jim was involved with every major global product introduction for Apple Computer, including the influential PowerBook computer. For its work on the PowerBook, the American Marketing Association awarded Apple, BBDO and Ward two Gold Effies, as well as the Grand Effie for the most effective marketing and advertising achievement of the year. In 1993, Ward received BBDO’s highest honor, the Founder’s Award. Shortly after his success with Apple and BBDO, Ward joined Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore., as global director for the Microsoft account. With the musical help of Rolling Stone’s “Start Me Up,” the worldwide introduction of Windows 95 became a cultural event. Ward then led the global Nike account, including Nike’s participation in the 1996 Summer Olympics and its introduction of golfer Tiger Woods. Ward joined Lucasfilm in 1997 as head of its newly formed marketing division. He oversaw all aspects of the marketing and distribution campaigns for the global theatrical and video launches of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith including managing Lucasfilm’s unique distribution relationship with Twentieth Century Fox Worldwide. In addition to the films’ stellar box-office returns, Lucasfilm’s marketing efforts under Ward’s leadership included successful promotional tie-in partnerships with major companies around the globe, including Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Burger King, Suntory, Cingular and Kellogg’s, which propelled the theatrical release of the films into global consumer events. Ward also served as executive producer of the elaborate DVD versions of all three films. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was Lucasfilm’s first-ever DVD offering and was one of the most acclaimed home-video releases of 2001. The 2002 DVD release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones marked the first-ever digital-to-digital transfer of a major, live-action feature film and was one of the biggest-selling DVD titles of the year. Ward’s team also launched the Star Wars Trilogy and The Adventures of Indiana Jones – the two biggest-selling DVD boxed sets of all time – and re-released George Lucas’s first film, THX 1138, to theaters and on DVD. In May 2004, Ward was named President of LucasArts, helping spark renewed growth in the company with such game hits as Star Wars: Battlefront, Knights of the Old Republic II and Mercenaries, along with the immensely popular massively multiplayer online game Star Wars: Galaxies. Under Ward’s leadership, LucasArts became one of the most critically acclaimed game publishers and saw several of its titles reach the top of best- seller lists. A native of Rockford, Ill., Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Ward has been named one of Advertising Age’s Top 100 Marketers and was EPM’s 1999 Entertainment Marketer of the Year. He was Thunderbird’s Alumnus of the Year with Distinction in Marketing in 2000 and received Hanover College’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2003. He is also frequently found on the speaking tour, having been invited to speak at numerous AMA, AAAA and AAF engagements, and at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and the Wharton School of Business, in addition to speaking internationally at ESADE/Berkeley Haas School of Business in Barcelona. Jim is also a Professor Emeritus of Wal-Mart University, an ongoing forum for employee learning whose guests have ranged from Gen. Colin Powell to top executives from the corporate world. Ward also served as Chairman of the Entertainment Software Association in 2007, was Chairman of the Creative Committee for the 2016 San Francisco Olympic Bid Committee and was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 as an Executive Producer for a Primetime Non- Fiction Special. He currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Development Committee on the Board of Trustees of Hanover College and is on the advisory board of Alamofire, a Dallas based Internet social networking company with a leading game on Facebook. Currently, Ward and his family live in Scottsdale, Arizona where Jim serves on the Economic Development and Public Policy Advisory Boards of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and is a Legislative District 8 Precinct Captain of the Pinnacle South Precinct for the Republican Party.