Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today announced that Chief Marketing Officer Jacqueline Parkes has notified him that, after 21 years of service to MLB and its 30 Clubs, she is resigning to pursue new opportunities, effective May 1st.
Parkes joined MLB as Director of Advertising & Promotions in 1995 after working at Jim Henson Productions. In the wake of the 1994 strike, she undertook many initiatives that aimed to reposition the MLB brand. Over time, her role expanded to include oversight of additional areas, including Community Affairs, Research, Ticketing Analytics and Design Services. In 2008, she became MLB's first Chief Marketing Officer, which also made her the first female CMO in professional sports. Parkes' team created thousands of pieces of creative content to market the sport across all media platforms. She played a key role in merging MLB's brand identity as a game, as a business and as a social institution beloved by millions.
Among her achievements, Parkes introduced Jackie Robinson Day and Roberto Clemente Day onto MLB's annual calendar as well as league-wide cancer awareness events on Mother's Day (breast cancer), Father's Day (prostate cancer) and during the All-Star Game and the World Series through MLB's Stand Up To Cancer moments. She led both the Commissioner's Initiative in the 21st Century, which shaped the industry's strategic plan across all areas of the game, including the introduction of innovative broadcast technologies and fan engagement platforms, and the Commissioner's Ticketing Review Committee, which has driven the implementation of a variety of consumer-centric ticketing technologies and practices that have significantly impacted the fan experience and contributed to record-setting industry revenues each year since the Committee's inception.
Commissioner Manfred said: "Jacqueline is an accomplished executive and has been a valued colleague to us throughout her 21 years at Major League Baseball. We appreciate her many contributions to our game, particularly through her passionate focus on charitable initiatives. She is a true professional and I wish her success in her next endeavor."
Parkes said: "Working for MLB over the last 21 years has been a unique opportunity and privilege. I am extremely grateful to Commissioner Manfred, Commissioner Emeritus Selig, Tony Petitti, the 30 Club owners, my co-workers, our partners, my staff and the many MLB players who supported our marketing efforts over the years. It has been an honor to play a small role in the history of the National Pastime, and I will always cherish my experiences and the impact we have had on the communities in which we live and play."
MLB will not immediately seek to fill the position vacated by Parkes.