The Blockbuster Strategy / How Hits Happen
What separates leading companies in the world of entertainment from the pack? Drawing on a wealth of quantitative data and in-depth case studies, professor Elberse breaks down why a blockbuster strategy – a portfolio strategy that involving large bets on the most likely winners – is a highly effective strategy, and how companies can best organize for success around such a strategy.
Managing and Marketing (Superstar) Talent
The power of individual superstars is greater than ever before. What does that mean for the companies who rely on their performances? How can they best develop, attract, invest in, and retain talent? Drawing on insights from her field research on some of the biggest stars and most successful companies in entertainment, professor Elberse provides valuable lessons for executives and talent managers alike.
The Promise of Digital Technology
Advances in digital technology have the power to completely reshape the business landscape, prompting business leaders to rethink their strategies. Diving into implications for markets, channels, and individuals, Professor Elberse answers some of the most critical questions about the ongoing transformation and the implications for effective management and marketing approaches.
The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports
Drawing on two decades of pioneering research on entertainment, media, and sports, professor Elberse breaks down what it takes to thrive in these sectors, and what the future of entertainment will look like.
Leading and Managing Teams
Using her ground-breaking case study on legendary soccer coach Sir Alex Ferguson as a starting point, professor Elberse facilitates an interactive session on the formula for success in managing people and teams.
Anita Elberse is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
Professor Elberse develops and teaches an MBA course covering the "Businesses of Entertainment, Media, and Sports," which ranks among the most sought-after courses in the School’s curriculum, and chairs a short executive education program, also named "The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports." She chairs a semester-long mentoring program, "Crossover Into Business," that is specifically designed for professional athletes. She further leads the Summer Venture in Management Program for college students from minority backgrounds. Poets & Quants named her one of the "World's Best Business School Professors Under the Age of 40," and she has received teaching awards on multiple occasions from both the Harvard Business School and its students, including the Charles M. Williams Award for excellence in teaching, "Best of EC Year" honors (for top faculty teaching in the Elective Curriculum), and the Faculty Teaching Award. In 2016, she won the "Outstanding Case Teacher" award in The Case Centre's worldwide competition, also known as "business education's Oscars."
In her research, Professor Elberse primarily aims to understand what drives the success of products in the entertainment, media, sports, and other creative industries, and how firms can effectively manage products and talent in such sectors. She is acclaimed for her work on digital-media strategies, and frequently uses econometric modeling techniques to examine media-industry problems. Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Marketing Science, the Journal of Marketing, and several other journals. She was named a Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar, and served on the editorial board of Marketing Science.
Professor Elberse has conducted case studies on dozens of entertainment companies, personalities, and other entities. These include record label A&M/Octone Records, cable operator Comcast, book publisher Grand Central Publishing, Broadway show Hamilton, online video provider Hulu, music streaming service Spotify, the campaign for Jay-Z's book Decoded by advertising agency Droga5, entertainment companies Marvel Enterprises, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Studios, nightlife business Marquee, the Metropolitan Opera, sports leagues MLB and the NFL, MRC's television series House of Cards, Shonda Rhimes' production company ShondaLand and Jason Blum's Blumhouse Productions, soccer clubs FC Barcelona, Boca Juniors, and Real Madrid, the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, World Wrestling Entertainment, soccer coach Sir Alex Ferguson, Vogue magazine, fashion house Burberry, sports apparel brand Nike, and superstars Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Maria Sharapova, and Dwyane Wade. Several of these case studies are described in her bestselling first book, Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment, which Amazon named one of its Best Books of 2013.
Prior to joining Harvard Business School, professor Elberse was a Visiting Fellow at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD from London Business School, an MA in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, and an MA in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam (cum laude). A native of The Netherlands but now an American citizen, she was awarded a Netherland-America Foundation/Fulbright Fellowship.
Professor Elberse is one of the youngest female professors to have been promoted to full professor with tenure in Harvard Business School's history.