New Co-Chairs for DEGI
July 5, 2021
By Colin Mann
Industry trade body The Digital Entertainment Group International (DEGI) has confirmed a new line-up for its Board of Directors, with Joe Braman, VP, International Account Management at NBCUniversal and Ruth Sharp, VP and Head of Digital Distribution, Warner Media UK and Ireland both joining as Co-Chairs, effective immediately.
The DEGI exists to support and enhance the home entertainment industry, driving consumer engagement with new and emerging technologies across an increasing number of international territories. International collaboration is at the heart of all DEGI activity, and Braman and Sharp join the Board amid a year that has seen the DEGI successfully implement territory-first activations including Mega Movie Week Germany and the Nordic Hitlist weekly film chart.
Braman and Sharp join Amy Jo Smith as Director, and Liz Bales as Chief Executive Officer, and will lead the charge on growing value for DEGI members, whilst driving a category-level strategy for market growth.
“I am thrilled to be joining Ruth as Co-Chair of DEGI at one of the most exciting times in our industry,” declared Braman. “With so much change in windowing and access to amazing content, DEGI plays a vital role in bringing key stakeholders together to drive industry collaboration and category growth. I look forward to working closely with Ruth, Liz and Amy Jo to continue the great work DEGI have delivered to date.”
“As the digital entertainment world changes faster than ever before, I am delighted to be joining Joe as Co-Chair of the DEG,” added Sharp.” Providing a forum for creating growth strategies and sharing insights, it’s exciting to be working with the DEGI group to extend our activations and grow consumer engagement in the category.”
Braman and Sharp take over from previous Co-Chairs, Chris Duffy and Nicola Pearcey. Duffy, formerly Head of Insight and Planning at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is departing the DEGI having made invaluable contributions to the market-shifting activations delivered by the DEGI team over the past few years. Pearcey steps down as Co-Chair after 10 years, and has steered the organisation from its European roots to an international presence, and pioneered DEGI’s Future Building programme. Stepping down as President of Lionsgate UK and setting up new venture, Picnik Entertainment, Pearcy will move into a Senior Independent Director role on the Board, bringing vital insight from the independent production community.
“I am delighted to continue to work with the DEGI alongside my new media venture, Picnik Entertainment, and bring fresh insights from the independent production, distribution and financing sector,” commented Pearcey. “As Co-Chair, I was incredibly proud to contribute to the organisation’s international growth over the years, and I look forward to working with the new Board to drive more powerful and international activations in the future.”
The central tenets of category leadership, growth initiatives, sharing of international best practice and the latest insights provides a compelling offer for potential new DEGI members, and one that will carry the trade body into its strongest year to date. The DEGI’s latest announcement launched the BASE & DEGI Insights Presents: Spotlight Sessions alongside sister organisation the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE), a vital season of virtual events set to explore the burning topics for the industry, with each session at 45 minutes or less.
“The strength and diversity of the DEGI Board spans production, distribution and retail delivering value for stakeholders across the category,” asserted Bales. “We are excited to be working such exceptional talent and extend a warm welcome to Joe and Ruth as Co-Chairs, and we look forward to benefitting from the collective experience and input of the board as we drive our next projects.”
DEG International runs with the benefit of back-office support from BASE, as a result of this collaboration DEGI is structured to deliver against its pan-European strategy and with its members, execute vital initiatives.