NEW YORK, USA // Richard Yaffa is the Global Head of Universal Music Group for Brands (UMGB), where he oversees this strategic B2B Group for Universal Music Group, including UMG Brand & Agency Partnerships, the UMG Media Sales Network, and UMG Live and Experiences solutions for the world’s largest music entertainment company. As a global industry leader with over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, events, media, sports, content, new technology and cause marketing arenas, he brings a distinct perspective to building businesses and enterprise value through his unique experience in the convergence of content, interactive experiences, media, and brands, often finding solutions, partnerships and results where others may not have considered it. The broad depth of Richard’s background allows him to accelerate results by translating between industries, breaking down silos internally and externally, creating opportunities for all stakeholders. He has done this at UMG, Spring Studios and GroupM. Throughout his career he has generated billions of dollars in revenue for clients and the companies he has run, as well as developed a broad range of relationships as a trusted advisor to CEOs, CMOs & CFOs on major strategic revenue initiatives.
Since stepping into his role at UMGB, Richard has created a global structure, aligned capabilities across UMG, and has continued to reinvent cultural experiences and lead brands into uncharted territory generating and accelerating significant revenue growth for all stakeholders. UMGB has 72 offices around the world serving brands, agencies, media companies and strategic partnerships, all setting new standards for excellence and creativity to make brands culturally relevant including during COVID.
Recent UMGB global partnerships include the multi-year partnership for the development of an A/R product with LEGO, the Cannes Lions Gold award campaign for the 25th anniversary of Pokémon, Samsung, Conde Nast, Coca-Cola, Google, Lenovo, the Oreo + Lady Gaga collaboration, Burlington and the much acclaimed about virtual concert experience with the Jonas Brothers and Lenovo. As part of the development of the UMG Media Network, Richard was also the first to create Upfront Sales for UMG Media as well as a first of its kind co-selling agreement with Condé Nast to create new product CN+, both offering the ability to unlock UMG Premium YouTube video assets. This strategic initiative now makes UMG a one-stop-shop for brand and media buys through their unique access to this scale and inventory.
Richard’s unparalleled experience in the industry has led him to his current role at UMGB. Prior to joining UMGB, Rich was the Global Chief Executive Officer of Spring Studios, the Managing Partner of RAY Media II, Chief Executive Officer of GroupM Entertainment, Sports and Partnerships, a division of WPP, the Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of The Leverage Group, and head of Marketing/Sales for the Columbia Records Group.
Throughout his career, Richard and the teams that he has managed have implemented hundreds of billions of dollars in campaigns with a stellar client roster for some of the most iconic deals including global award-winning campaigns including Clios, Cannes Lions, Billboard, Halos and several others. They have created naming rights, media deals, Original IP and partnerships for the world most regarded brands including, Select partnerships he leveraged on behalf of his clients including Coke, Citi, Pokeman, PGA, Wimbledon, US Open Tennis, WTA Tour Events, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, US Open Golf, NASCAR, Vevo, BMW Racing, International Speedway Corporation, Major and Minor League Baseball, MGM, Paramount, MGM, SONY Pictures, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and over 100+ individual team and talent deals in professional sports and entertainment.
Richard received his Masters in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business and is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. In addition to his current work, he was also an Adjunct Professor and has taught the Capstone Senior Thesis Business Program at The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. He currently lives in New York with his family.