Universal’s Rebranded Parks Division Taps Brian Robinson & Eric Parr As It Fires Up Creative Unit
The recently renamed Universal Destinations & Experiences (previously Parks & Resorts) has named two executives to key roles at its growing creative division.
In a memo to staff today, Destinations’ chairman-CEO Mark Woodbury said Brian Robinson has been named to the role of EVP, Chief Creative Officer and will lead the division’s Creative Studio, including ATI (Advanced Technology Initiatives), Media, Architecture and Planning, and Attraction Development. Currently EVP, Brand Strategy & Creative at Universal Products & Experiences, he will transition out of that role with a planned move to Orlando later this year.
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Eric Parr has been promoted to the new role of SVP, Creative Studio, reporting to Robinson and taking on expanded leadership of creative design on new attractions, destinations and experiences worldwide.
“Universal Destinations & Experiences has an exciting future with a powerful aspiration, phenomenal product, a differentiated brand purpose, and an extraordinarily talented team. This inspires my confidence in where we are going as a company and in Brian Robinson’s and Eric Parr’s ability to take the Creative Studio to new heights,” Woodbury said in a statement.
He said he plans to announce other key appointments soon.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal announced a rebrand of its parks business earlier this month to Destinations & Experiences, which it says “better reflect the full breadth of innovative offerings Universal brings to fans around the globe and its intent to continue to expand its business in the future.” It recently announced two original concepts: a theme park designed for families and young children in Frisco, Texas, which the company considers a gateway to a growing, regional market with broad appeal in the Southwest; and a year-round. horror inspired entertainment experience that’s an extension of its Halloween Horror Night franchise.
It also recently opened Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood, including the Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge ride. A larger Super Nintendo World opened last year at Universal’s Japan park with its own Mario Kart attraction, one is planned for Singapore and Woodbury confirmed earlier this year that Orlando will also get a version of the attraction.
See his full memo here:
Dear Team Members,
This is an exciting time for Universal Creative as they continue to innovate the most compelling attractions imaginable and develop new, exciting and immersive ways to bring our brand to life for our existing fans and for new audiences around the world. Their work is key in helping us pursue our bold ambition for Universal Destinations & Experiences.
As we look to the future, we have been thoughtful about Universal Creative’s next chapter. One that cultivates creative talent, enhances a culture of inclusive collaboration, and takes our rich portfolio of franchises and unique brand of storytelling to new heights. A place where individual effort is respected, recognized and rewarded, and the team is empowered to reach its highest potential.
I am pleased to share the following Universal Creative leadership roles.
Brian Robinson is appointed to the role of EVP, Chief Creative Officer. He will lead the Creative Studio, inclusive of ATI (Advanced Technology Initiatives), Media, Architecture and Planning, and Attraction Development. He will be responsible for setting priorities and inspiring the creative vision for the team and for leading cross-functional collaboration within Universal Creative. He will also work closely with UDX Marketing and Insights in developing product execution strategies moving forward. Brian is a creative force, a true collaborator and a dynamic leader who excels at building inclusive and innovative cultures. He will contribute to the brand strategy for UDX and help strengthen alignment across our divisions and functions.
In his current role as EVP, Brand Strategy & Creative at Universal Products & Experiences (UP&E), Brian has led some of entertainment’s most recognized franchises through physical and digital product innovation, resulting in numerous industry awards and record performance. He serves in an important role as a key interface with Universal Pictures and other NBCU divisions, and also built a powerhouse creative team at UP&E. Prior to joining Universal, he activated compelling franchises in visionary ways at DreamWorks Animation and was a key leader in the groundbreaking brand transformation at Target. Brian will continue his work at Universal Products & Experiences as we transition his responsibilities with a planned move to Orlando later this year.
Eric Parr is promoted to SVP, Creative Studio, reporting to Brian Robinson. In this new position, Eric will take on an expanded role leading creative design on new attractions, destinations and experiences worldwide. He will bring his rich creative and technical background to the attraction development process on multiple new platforms. Working in partnership with Brian, and in close collaboration with other Creative Studio functions, he and his team will shape and define the next generation of Universal branded experiences.
Parr was VP of Creative.
During his 25+ years of creative leadership, he has been instrumental in the development of some of the industry’s most iconic experiences and many of our award-winning attractions. Prior to joining Universal Creative, Eric reimagined museums and exhibitions, most notably the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and helped them become world-renowned venues. As a trained architect and holder of many patents, Eric is recognized for his expertise in bringing creative projects to life that result in groundbreaking guest experiences.
We have an exciting future with a powerful aspiration reflected in our new name, our phenomenal product, a differentiated brand purpose and an extraordinarily talented team. I’m confident with where we are going as a company and in Brian and Eric’s ability to take the Creative Studio and its culture to new heights.
I look forward to announcing other key appointments soon.
Please join me in congratulating these leaders on their new roles!
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