Anthony Esparza has spent his career creating fun by orchestrating all aspects of a great guest experience. From attractions and resorts, live entertainment and events, restaurant and retail environments, television and digital media, his expertise and award-winning creative teams have touched every demographic, helping companies such as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Harlem Globetrotters, Sesame Workshop, Dollywood, Coca-Cola, Sanrio Japan, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Mattel Toys cement relationships with a new generation of customers.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Chief Creative officer
As Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Anthony was brought in as part of a turn-around team (post-Blackfish decline) and established a new creatively-driven culture across the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and Sesame Place parks. As part of the corporate management team, he helped develop the DNA for a new company voice focused on “rescue” resulting in the acclaimed PARK TO PLANET brand campaign that rolled out during the recent Winter Olympics.
His direct responsibility for Theme Park Attraction Development, New Business Experiences, Television + Digital Experiences, Events + Entertainment, and Resort Development increased shareholder value. Esparza guided international ventures including the next generation SeaWorld park in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, he was key in visioning a new slate of attractions and building a revitalized relationship with Sesame Workshop.
HErschend Family Entertainment
CCO | Senior Vice President, Guest Experiences
In 2003 Anthony joined Herschend Family Entertainment and led Herschend Creative Studios in its quest to bring families closer together and by "creating memories worth repeating" for Herschend’s theme parks, aquariums, water parks, hotels, and live entertainment venues. Other than Disney and Universal, Herschend is the only other company to have created two properties - Silver Dollar City and Dollywood - honored with the international Applause Award, the industry’s highest accolade for creative accomplishment, management, and operations.
During Esparza’s tenure, the company acquired the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters and completed Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa in its $300 million master plan expansion partnership with Dolly Parton. Most significant is the work Anthony completed to help build one of the most respected company cultures in the industry.
Paramount Parks | VIACOM
Senior Vice President, Design + Entertainment
As creative executive for Paramount Parks, the out-of-home entertainment division of media giant Viacom, Inc., Anthony was charged with integrating the company’s media and motion picture brands from Paramount Pictures, CBS Television, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Simon and Schuster into its parks and location-based entertainment venues throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In addition, he expanded the company’s global entertainment group into cruise line entertainment. The company tripled in value during his time before being acquired.
LAndmark Entertainment Group
Vice President, Creative Development
Here Anthony was responsible for supervision of an award-winning creative team focused on Attractions + Show Design, Master Planning, Design Development, Art Direction, and Graphic Identity groups. He supervised multiple projects in design, production, and installation with costs ranging up to $600 million. While here, Landmark created groundbreaking attractions, restaurants, and tourist destinations domestically and internationally, particularly in Asia. During this time, Landmark Entertainment was the leader in entertainment design and guest experience development.
Husband & Father
Most important to Anthony is the time he spends with his wife Brenda, and sons Andrew, Ryan, and Matthew. Without their love, inspiration, and support, there would be no Esparza HQ. The future is in God’s hands, and we are thankful to be able to create experiences that can make our world a little more fun, a little bit brighter, . . . and a lot more meaningful.