Anita Elberse

Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration

Anita Elberse is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. 

An award-winning teacher and scholar, Professor Elberse develops and teaches a course covering the businesses of entertainment, media, and sports, titled Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, which ranks among the most sought-after courses in the School’s curriculum for MBA students, and chairs the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports executive education program. She also holds various leadership positions at the School: among other roles, she serves as the chair for Convening and Special Events. 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 develop effective marketing strategies for such products. She is acclaimed for her work on digital-media strategies. Professor Elberse has conducted case studies on dozens of entertainment companies, personalities, and other entities. Many of these are described in her first book, Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment.

Professor Elberse is one of the youngest female professors to have been promoted to full professor with tenure in Harvard Business School's history.

Anita Elberse is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Professor Elberse develops and teaches a course covering the businesses of entertainment, media, and sports, titled Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, which ranks among the most sought-after courses in the School’s curriculum for MBA students. She also holds various leadership positions at the School: she serves as the chair for Convening and Special Events, is the faculty chair of an executive education program on The Business of Media, Entertainment, and Sports, leads the Summer Venture in Management Program, and co-chairs the annual START program for incoming HBS faculty. 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 develop effective marketing strategies for such products. She is acclaimed for her work on digital-media strategies, and frequently uses econometric modeling techniques to examine marketing 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 in 2011, and serves 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 and Shonda Rhimes' production company ShondaLand, soccer clubs FC Barcelona, Boca Juniors, and Real Madrid, soccer coach Sir Alex Ferguson, Vogue magazine, fashion house Burberry, and superstars Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, Maria Sharapova, and Dwyane Wade. Many 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.