Jim Ward was President of LucasArts and Vice President of Marketing and Distribution at Lucasfilm Ltd until late January 2008. He was responsible for the overall leadership of LucasArts and its development of interactive video-game entertainment, such as the popular Star Wars Galaxies and Knights of the Old Republic and an increasing amount of original content. Additionally, in his role as head of marketing and distribution, he oversaw the planning, development and execution of global marketing programs for all of Lucasfilm’s motion picture, television and video properties – including Star Wars and Indiana Jones – and lead the marketing efforts for all of Lucasfilm’s corporate activities.
Ward has been named one of Advertising Age’s Top 100 Marketers and was EPM’s 1999 Entertainment Marketer of the Year. He 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 biggest 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 has overseen all aspects of the marketing and publicity campaigns for the global theatrical and video launches of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Ward also served as executive producer of the DVD version of both films and the Indiana Jones trilogy.
A native of Rockford, Ill., Ward received his bachelor’s degree from Hanover College and a Master of International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). He has been named Thunderbird’s Alumnus of the Year with Distinction in Marketing and has received Hanover College’s Alumni Achievement Award.
Last updated: Feb 03, 2008