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Growing up in a house with five stepbrothers (and a sister), April Carty-Sipp almost had to dive into sports “if I hoped to get attention,” she says.
Now senior VP of creative services at Comcast Sports Group, Carty-Sipp played soccer throughout college—when she also managed to break into the sports world on the business side.
Carty-Sipp landed an internship and then a job with Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies, working on slow-motion replays and other scoreboard displays at Veterans Stadium during the Phillies’ wild ride to the 1993 National League pennant.
“My family was beyond thrilled when I got that job,” she says. “[The fact that] I was the only female who applied for it kind of helped me, because I stood out.”
Carty-Sipp worked her way into the television side of the business, doing promotional spots for the Phillies and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. In 2000, she joined Comcast SportsNet, then consisting of just one network in Philadelphia.
Carty-Sipp has played an instrumental role in developing a fresh and innovative look while maintaining a stable feel for the rapidly growing brand. Since 2000, Comcast Sports Group has expanded to a group of 14 regional networks that are home to 18 pro teams.
One of the biggest challenges, she says, has been keeping up with the rapid changes in technology on the creative side, especially in graphics. “Digital media has changed the way we create visuals,” Carty-Sipp says, adding that she is as fascinated by the technological part of her job as she is by the sports side. “I always want to know what we can invent next.”
Among the major recent projects has been an overhaul for Comcast networks’ opening animation, which now features a “city of sports” logo that includes graphics morphing from the logo into a city skyline, an arena and a baseball, with customized touches for markets ranging from Philadelphia to Chicago to San Francisco.
In the next few months, Carty-Sipp will face a new challenge but one fi lled with opportunities, thanks to the merger of Comcast with NBC. “We have not defined how things will change,” she says, “but it will be coming in the next month or so.”
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