Sunday, April 14, 2024

Esparza HQ brings a positive outlook and 3 decades of experience to help brands, IP owners and developers navigate the LBE space


“At Paramount, I learned brand expertise; at Herschend, crafting a purpose-driven culture; at SeaWorld, rebuilding a brand story,” said Anthony Esparza. He has now launched Esparza HQ, a consultancy to assist and advise brands, licensors of intellectual property (IP), operators and developers to create meaningful guest experiences in the global, location-based entertainment (LBE) space.

Esparza HQ is built on its principal’s 30+ years’ experience with leading owner-operators: SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment (Chief Creative Officer), Herschend Family Entertainment (CCO/SVP, Guest Experiences) and Paramount Parks/VIACOM (SVP, Design+Entertainment). Each tenure added a new dimension to Esparza’s understanding of the industry.

“Each of those companies had multiple park properties. Each year we conceived and built anywhere from 10-40 projects – over three decades. That wealth of project and business experience has given me a sort of ‘night vision’ to help drive a project to its destination, to reach its business goal, be purposeful, and operationally sound,” said Esparza.

His mission with Esparza HQ is “to create destinations and experiences with purpose,” including theme park attractions, learning and education experiences, cultural attractions, resorts and hospitality, cruise lines, immersive digital experiences, family entertainment centers (FECs), seasonal attractions and more.

“LBE platforms are a powerful way to share a meaningful message and bring a grand vision to life in a memorable way, anywhere in the world,” said Esparza. “We are seeing a whole new level of IP immersion unfold today in the LBE space. But it’s a challenging and complex process, and each project is its own ‘magic mix.’

The Esparza 6

In Esparza’s view, there are six primary business deliverables for a project. “Each is a requirement and each is a challenge –

  1. “Great guest experience;
  2. A hook to talk about;
  3. A well-crafted marketing message from the outset;
  4. Brand/idea to drive attendance;
  5. Platform for incremental revenue streams;
  6. A well-defined, underlying purpose to provide the needs of the community you want to attract as your guests and advocates.”

As a business leader privy to C-level strategy and execution as well as a creative, Esparza brings his own magic mix to the table. “I can translate strategy into content that drives business. I speak the language of a designer and a business leader. I can be a guide for those that need both.”

Esparza places emphasis on positive purpose. “Our work is most effective when it has positive purpose and that purpose is shared by everyone in the company and on the project. The world can be fun… and meaningful. Everything we do in this industry can be part of creating a positive and a better world. And if you get all the important things right, you can build something influential that inspires others – leading to the next grand vision.”

He will be in Orlando at the 2018 IAAPA Attractions Expo in search of new partners, new challenges and purposeful projects. “I love this industry and I’m excited about the future.”


Email: [email protected]

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Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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