NFL Passes Ball To New COO; Nike Steps Up To Harassment Claims


Maryann Turcke has been promoted to NFL’s first female chief operating officer following the departure of Tod Leiweke.

NFL’s marketing chief Dawn Hudson has announced her departure in pursuit of non-marketing endeavors.

“Dawn provided refreshing insights and perspectives on how to portray our game, players and the special bond fans have with the NFL,” said an NFL spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. “The league’s multi-platform campaigns have further deepened the connection with fans throughout the year, culminating with exciting and engaging Super Bowl messages. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

After 25 years with the company, Nike brand president Trevor Edwards has resigned from his position and retire in August. The staff change was announced Thursday by Nike president and CEO Mark Parker amid a string of employee complaints that “disturbed and saddened” him. While Edwards was not named in the memo, the timing of Edwards’ resignation, alongside the termination of VP and global manager of global categories Jayme Martin followed probes into harassment within the company.

Parker provided employees with a confidential email and phone number to use if they felt harassed and said Nike would be reviewing the company’s protocol for dealing with internal complaints.

Nike president of geographies and integrated marketplace Elliot Hill will be promoted to the role of president of consumer and marketplace. In his new position, Hill will handle all marketing, geographies, Nike Direct, global sales and all things Jordan Brand. Michael Spillane will continue as president of product and merchandising, leading the company’s categories, design, product and merchandising.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, March 16. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at

Chipotle has hired Brian Niccol as its new CEO. Niccol joins the company after three years as CEO for Taco Bell. Chipotle founder Steve Ells will stay on as executive chairman. In the announcement, Ells credited Niccol for his role in boosting Taco Bell’s popularity in recent years, something Chipotle has struggled with following food safety concerns.

“Under his leadership, he successfully repositioned Taco Bell as a lifestyle brand and successfully launched numerous product initiatives, including the new breakfast daypart, the fastest growing daypart in the industry,” the company said.

Mark Crumpacker stepped down as Chipotle CMO effective March 15 after nine years with the company. A replacement has not yet been announced.

Nick Stringer joins Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) as vice president of global member engagement and operations. Stringer will head up TAG’s new European office in London to “help accelerate the organization’s global expansion.” Stringer comes to TAG after serving as director of regulatory affairs at the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) and chair of the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA).

“I am delighted to join TAG at this pivotal time to help extend the TAG vision, and we look forward to working with key European stakeholders to build a global approach in addressing criminal activity in digital advertising,” said Stringer in a prepared statement made available to AListDaily.

After 20 years with the company, A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubac has departed in favor of a new position as CEO of Vice Media. Vice co-founder Shane Smith will remain on board in an executive role, but called the new team a “modern day Bonnie and Clyde” who will “take all your money.”

Dubac expressed gratitude for her time with A+E Networks but looks forward to the new position.

“Anyone who knows me well, knows I am an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart,” Dubac said in a statement. “I have a famous neon sign in my office that blares ‘Who dares wins.’ After 20 years at A+E the hardest thing will be to leave the people and company I love. But, as a creative executive and leader, and to stay true to my personal mantra, I need my next dare and my next challenge.”

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced the promotion of three executives to vice president roles. Brian Gilbert is now vice president of retail business development, Frank Barone is vice president of financial management and business analytics and Mathias Piercy has been promoted to regional vice president of South Central.

With their passion for results, deep understanding of our business, and leadership capabilities, I am confident they will help us continue to capitalize on the growth potential of both the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands,” said Dave Hoffmann, President of Dunkin’ Donuts US in a statement.

Condé Nast has promoted Karthic Bala from head of data strategy to become the company’s first chief data officer. In his new role, Bala will work to increase ad-supported and consumer revenue streams as well as build new data-driven businesses.

Activision Blizzard is hiring to win in the competitive world of esports. The video game publisher hired Daniel Cherry III as chief marketing officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. A sports industry veteran, Cherry brings over 20 years of marketing experience, having served as chief marketing and innovation officer for the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center.

Marc Kolin has been tapped as vice president of finance, formerly of NBC Universal.

Brandon Snow will be the new chief revenue officer and brings his knowledge of business development in the world of competitive sports, having worked for the NFL and NBA.

French actor Augustin Legrand will no longer be Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man In the World.” The Heineken-owned brand is changing focus after a drop in sales year-over-year. Dos Equis replaced the original “Most Interesting” spokesman, Jonathan Goldsmith in 2016 with a younger version, but the campaign turned out to be less popular. Now, the brand says, it is focusing less on the spokesman and more on the beer itself.

Kevin Mayer has been promoted from Disney’s chief strategy officer to chairman of the company’s new Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment. Mayer is credited with some of Disney’s biggest purchases including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and BamTech, a streaming-focused company.

“Kevin is a proven leader who has played a critical role in bringing together the collection of creative and technological assets that will allow Disney to offer unparalleled entertainment experiences in a direct-to-consumer future,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement.

As part of the media giant’s shake-up, Disney gives additional responsibility to Bob Chapek, head of Disney Parks and Resorts, who will oversee consumer products now as Jimmy Pitaro moves to ESPN.

Unilever is dividing its marketing efforts into three separate divisions: beauty and personal care, home care and food and refreshments. In addition to marketing and advertising, these divisions will take over responsibility for innovation, strategy, research and product development.

“This is the logical next step in the transformation of Unilever,” CFO Graeme Pitkethly told investors March 15. “It will drive long-term shareholder value and provide increased flexibility, strengthen corporate governance and enable our divisions to better serve consumers by balancing scale and agility.”

Job Vacancies 

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VP, Sales & Marketing The Washington Times Washington, D.C.

Make sure to check back for updates on our Jobs Page.

Countries Host SXSW Activations To Market Diplomacy, Tech And Tourism

SXSW—more specifically, the SXSW Interactive Festival—has turned into a boomtown for diplomacy.

Different countries emit their presence among Austin venues turned into sponsored activations. At Casa Peru, there’s a photo booth with stuffed llamas and a full pisco sour bar. At the British Music Embassy, overseas indie and electronic acts are booked for days straight. On the convention floor, representatives from Brazil’s trade mission are telling passersby about the country’s booming economic sector.

There are many attractive reasons for foreign countries to set up shop at SXSW. Countries may want to host private dinners for tech investors and journalists to introduce them to local startups; flying over a popular local band, inviting social media tastemakers, and setting up Instagram-ready samples of foreign specialties can boost tourism dollars; and because of SXSW’s sheer numbers—there were just over 70,000 total attendees in 2016 from 95 countries, and even more attendees at unofficial events around town—the conference is becoming increasingly attractive to diplomatic and trade missions.

While there are conferences which are more comprehensive for individual industries, such as the Mobile World Congress and NRF Big Show, SXSW offers some of the best bang-for-the-buck for marketing and advertising. And Austin provides a nexus for promoting to a mostly well-off audience who will amplify their message on social media.

A notable diplomatic presence, the European Union hosted three days of events to promote tech-related EU initiatives, while countries like the Netherlands and Germany offered installations designed to lure investors and promote their countries as tourism destinations. Individual cities provided their own activations promoting regional tech and cultural activities as well.

This year, the German city of Hamburg rented out a hamburger stand directly across from the Austin Convention Center for a multi-day activation. The city uses its SXSW presence to promote local startups and its Reeperbahn Festival, a large music and digital event whose audience overlaps with SXSW considerably.

Michael Otremba, CEO of Hamburg Marketing, said over 105 companies attended SXSW from Hamburg last year, with more than 150 people representing.

For Startup Buenos Aires, an organization building connections for that city’s startup scene, the goal is to introduce Buenos Aires entrepreneurs to Austin and market the city as an attractive destination for entering the North American market (it’s cheaper than living in San Francisco).

“Argentinians typically think of Miami [for business] because it is the gateway to the Americas, or New York, or Silicon Valley,” said Lisa Besserman, who works for Startup Buenos Aires and is a recent transplant to Austin. “We want to promote Austin as a great place to potentially scale startups who are thinking about entering the United States.”

Representing the Netherlands, the New Dutch Wave activation conveys overlapping tech and music programming. The event is supported by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry and Creative Holland, a government-supported entrepreneurial organization, and is typical of the mix among many of the national activations at SXSW: Sober talks on marketing, design and startup launches are accompanied by performances by Dutch musicians in the evening and installations by Dutch artists.

Yorick Michelbrink of the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry notes the audience at SXSW is a bit different from typical Dutch trade outreach, citing agriculture and water management events as examples of places where you’d typically see an official Dutch presence.

“For us, what we do here in Austin is the blurring of the lines between corporate, startups, creatives and artists,” said Danny Freitman of Enterprise Summits, a Dutch events firm that founded the event alongside Wink, an Amsterdam-based marketing company.

While many of these activations from around the globe bear official sponsorship from their country of origin, some operate without formal government involvement. Nigerian events firm Temple Management and the U.S. African Development Corporation, an American federal government agency, cosponsored Africa House, a two-day activation. The event included talks by entrepreneurs and artists from across the continent, a breakfast spotlighting Nigeria’s tech community and music in the evening.

Meanwhile, China skipped the fancy public activations in favor of focusing on panels and private events, including a party with Chinese musical arts, representatives from Alibaba and other firms, diplomatic representatives and local politicians.

Emergen-C Pedals Into SXSW With A Mobile Revitalization Station

Vitamin supplement brand Emergen-C kickstarted an experiential campaign at SXSW to promote its newest products—and a moment for consumers to rest and recharge—with a mobile revitalization station.

The experience took 15 people at a time on 10-minute rides around town on a self-propelled contraption designed to endorse Probiotics+, the latest line in the brand’s portfolio.

Akosua Asamoah, senior brand manager of Emergen-C, told AListDaily that the timing of the activation was a great fit for the Pfizer-owned brand to make its experiential debut in Austin because it also coincided with the Wellness Expo and targeted a core user group they were actively trying to reach.

“Consumers are increasingly more interested in their overall health and wellness,” said Asamoah. “It’s important for Emergen-C to show up in places like SXSW in order to inform people of the range of wellness benefits available that can be incorporated into daily routines.”

Emergen-C was one of several brands that ventured to SXSW this year to promote marketing messages around health and fitness, which is seemingly a popular trend to reach bleary-eyed attendees who’ve made body-damaging decisions at the endless events and parties.

Others brands that brought experiential marketing messaging underscoring the importance of proper health and nutrition at SXSW included Gatorade, Land O’Lakes, Herbalife and Califia Farms.

Express Teases New Retail Concept With One-Day SXSW Pop-Up

While SXSW brand activations tend to take place for anywhere between two and 10 days, fashion retailer Express opted for a different approach this year.

Tapping into an element of festival “FOMO,” the clothing company built a one-day pop-up shop in downtown Austin billed as “The Express Bungalow,” offering a glimpse of its first-to-retail work concept shop opening in New York City later this month. The space was designed to be a reflection of the curated assortment that will be available at its new store.

“SXSW brings together individuals with world-changing ideas, and we wanted to meet them there to inspire and equip them to get to what’s next in their lives,” Jim Hilt, CMO for Express, told AListDaily.

The brand leveraged a 14-hour window with programming that aimed to offer educational and career-minded content and paired it with musical performances at night—all while promoting its latest lines of clothing.

The company also coordinated discussions concurrently serving its content marketing mix with live, career-centric podcasts featuring senior leadership from Facebook and Pandora. The conversations promoted a new survey that Express conducted with the The Levo Institute around the changing definition of work.

Express paired its SXSW activation with its “Game Changers” campaign, which focuses on athletes who harness passion, fashion and technology to achieve career goals.

Hilt said the festival was a natural place to continue scaling their marketing strategy, as the brand is looking for “inspiring individuals” to collaborate with through its partnerships and marketing programs.

Land O’Lakes Cultivates Younger Users With SXSW Event

Land O’Lakes wants younger consumers to know that it’s more than just a butter brand.

The company—a farmer-owned agricultural cooperative—made its SXSW debut in Austin this year with “The Food Effect,” an activation that dives into a dialogue of how people grow their food.

Since Land O’Lakes skews more toward older consumers with its different lines of businesses and sub-brands, the company wanted to set the stage at SXSW to speak directly to a younger audience with its experiences, said Kim Olson, chief communications officer at Land O’Lakes. She noted that they doubled the amount of attendees they were originally expecting.

The four-day experience took place during Interactive and featured a variety of exhibits illustrating challenges and innovations related with food production. The goal of the marketing activation was to engage a new group of consumers by addressing issues around food security and ultimately identifying solutions.

“We’re interested in an open and honest conversation about agriculture and technology, and we understand that our brand can have a role in the space,” Olson told AListDaily. “We want to make fewer yet bigger marketing efforts, and SXSW is a great place to start those conversations. It was the right time for us.”

Attendees entering the expansive space in downtown Austin were greeted with “Insecure Lines,” an experience that invites people to pick up a phone and listen to the voices of those who are struggling with hunger. Each time a story was heard, a meal was donated. By Monday afternoon, a digital overhead counter displayed that over 5,000 people had gone through the experience.

The space also offered a virtual reality experience that took place inside of a lettuce head suspended in the air, demonstrating innovative farming techniques, a station with a DNA strand that illustrated the potential of science to feed more people and an art demonstration that mapped farm fields with satellite imagery.

The company also partnered with National Geographic for panel discussions to bring different viewpoints to its dialogue and marketing agenda.

According to Olson, the brand effectively reached the younger demographic of consumers it was marketing to both in the space at SXSW and on different online channels, with 18 percent engagement across all of their used social media platforms.

“It’s our first foray into experiential marketing at SXSW, and the initial results have been great,” she said.

The Minneapolis-based company also had an experiential marketing activation during the Super Bowl in Minnesota last month with the Farm Bowl, a farm-themed competition course designed to inspire the next generation of consumers about agriculture.

Google Continues Making Case For Voice With SXSW Fun House

Google is making a case that it’s serious about competing with Amazon Alexa and seizing available market share by continuing its heavy promotional push for Google Assistant at SXSW.

The company came to Austin this year to get consumers more acclimated with voice technology and artificial intelligence with the Google Assistant Fun House, which demonstrated some of the ways people are using its Actions in everyday life. Google also shuttled attendees around the city with Google Hoppers, a branded ride service that was free to all SXSW badge holders.

During SXSW, the company’s experiential marketing strategy and presence was similar to the one it activated in January and was a continuation of the ad campaign it introduced during the Academy Awards.

People in Austin appeared to be interested with the fairly nascent platform of digital assistants and the promise voice technology presents. The Fun House regularly had some of the longest lines during Interactive to experience the activation.

Attendees who entered the space were greeted by a Google-branded lowrider that was parked on the lawn. With the voice command “OK, Google: bounce,” the car danced up and down to music—like War’s “Low Rider.” Through a partnership with Spot Hero, it also exhibited how people can find parking spots and even a lost car through the digital assistant.

Upon leaving the classic car, guests were able to see how they could trigger a water sprinkler through voice before being invited into a 12-room, two-story home that gave people a look into how voice can be integrated across all touchpoints.

From lights to litter boxes to laundry, each section of the house exhibited different ways people are using voice technology to make their lives simpler.

Google also used SXSW to showcase partners like Patrón and Dominoes and how it’s building an integrated ecosystem around Assistant in order to keep pace with Amazon. The tequila brand was a first-mover into voice in 2016 and brought a margarita bar that dispensed cocktails on command.

“It’s pretty obvious Google is trying to integrate voice into as many things as possible,” said Jesper Nolhage, a user experience specialist for Volvo who was one of the attendees that toured the space. “The demonstrations in the house felt more like gimmicks than actually meeting real needs, but it was still interesting to see what Google is able to pull off.”

Gatorade’s Experiential Marketing At SXSW Showcases Sports Technology

For a brand like Gatorade, SXSW certainly feels like a fitting place to further test its experiential marketing strategy with dehydrated and bleary-eyed attendees and give them a health-focused reality check. Gatorade geared up at SXSW to show attendees it’s more than just a beverage company.

The company erected a G-Store pop-up at the event, featuring their products and a new line, G ESSNTL. Attendees were given a tablet and asked to scan four separate sections of the store to learn more about each item through augmented reality. After completing the course, a refrigerator filled with Gatorade opened its doors to a space that shows how the brand is using tech as part of its marketing strategy.

“G-Store is a way for us to showcase how broad the Gatorade product portfolio really is through hydration, energy, recovery, endurance products and more—but with a twist,” said Gina Hardy, head of consumer and athlete engagement, to AListDaily. “While the retail shop spotlights our innovation, the stockroom is a competitive playground that showcases how evolving technology is fueling training for athletes.”

Once attendees walked through the refrigerator, they were able to try different tech training tools. Gatorade partnered with the app Volt to create an on-demand digital trainer.

Then there was Beat the Blitz. Gatorade’s virtual reality game shows users how dehydration can impact throwing accuracy and overall performance for quarterbacks.

Gatorade’s “Handles Hero” leveraged the Lazer 900 to deliver ball-handling drills using a real basketball designed to train players to make decisions quickly and correctly, similar to a live game situation.

“SXSW is such a destination event, and there’s competition for engagement in every direction,” said Hardy. “The key to being successful—no matter where you are—is staying authentic to your brand.”

AMC Takes To SXSW To Promote Its Newest Show, ‘The Terror’

AMC is leveraging SXSW’s experiential playground to continue building up the marketing of its latest drama, The Terror, with an immersive, multi-sensory experience that takes place in a boat built in a shipping container.

The show’s premise is about the British Royal Navy’s disastrous 1845 trip into uncharted territory as the crew attempts to discover the Northwest Passage. To promote the 10-episode first season of its haunting new series, the experience is designed to spark viewership interest with a first-hand look at what it could have been like to be a crew member on the ship.

“That aspect of the show has universal appeal, and SXSW is a good place to tap into potential new viewers,” Theresa Beyer, SVP of promotions, activations and partnerships for AMC, told AListDaily. “Putting people into a similar environment reflects the action of the show and is a more engaging way to get people into the story.”

The show is a speculative fiction about how 120 crew members aboard a ship mysteriously disappeared. Guests who entered the arctic experience were greeted by characters from the show and were then thrust into bone-chilling conditions where they were subjected to hearing the gruesome sounds of men fighting for their lives.

“We could have done something simpler through VR, put this kind of experience allows people to participate and ignites their senses,” said Beyer, adding that the elements they produced allow for the experience to resonate and create better consumer recall.

The next leg of the marketing strategy for the show will take place at WonderCon later this month when AMC will bring the exact same experience to Los Angeles.

Executive produced by Ridley Scott, David Kajganich and Soo Hugh, the two-hour series premiere for The Terror is set to premiere March 26.


Bumble Brings A Mission To Promote Equality At SXSW

SXSW can serve as fertile grounds for singles who yearn for love or casual encounters on dating apps. Bumble, a four-year-old app which currently has 27 million users, is in the midst of a growing marketing mission with hopes of expanding its reach globally.

The female-first social networking app came to Austin at Fair Market for a potential match with attendees this weekend for a two-day experiential marketing activation centered around giving badge holders a crack at romance and leveraging its platform to continue discussions around female empowerment, inclusion in the workplace and how to build healthy relationships.

“Bumble Presents: Empowering Connections” gave attendees a chance to pimp their profiles at a “Bio Bar” before sending them off to make the first move on five-minute speed dates.

Bumble also brought along Bumble Bizz, which gives startups a chance pitch their business idea for a chance to win mentorship and a $5,000 grant.

Discussions around gender equality with actress and activist Gina Rodriguez, author Keke Palmer and Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd anchored the event’s programming.

Earlier this week, the app signed on as an official sponsor with the Los Angeles Clippers. The brand’s logo will now appear on the team’s jersey.

Much like their presence at SXSW, the deal launched a marketing campaign to partner with brands to advance workplace equality.

Under Armour Runs Through SXSW With Hovr House Zero Gravity Experience

Under Armour brought a “zero gravity experience” to SXSW to promote its new UA Hovr line of running shoes.

Visitors to downtown Austin, Texas, noticed a geodesic dome being erected on Wednesday, as pointed out by Twitter user HappySlice.

Dubbed Hovr House, the giant red dome arrived at SXSW after its first stops in LA and Shanghai last month. The pop-up experience filled its dome with athletes and celebrities among displays of UA Hovr running shoes and an “elevated track,” an aerial rig that lets users run up a vertical wall.

The activation follows the theme of its new lightweight shoes, “Gravity holds you down, feel how UA Hovr lifts you up.” This experiential marketing activation continues the biggest and most expensive campaign for a product the brand has ever done.

Under Armour’s experiential marketing campaign continues in Texas this weekend with pop-up running events, live UA footwear customizations by Dez Customz, an outdoor lounge and a VIP meet and greet event.

Hovr House will be open to the public beginning Saturday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The athletic brand is throwing everything it has at its new UA Hovr line, beginning with a simultaneous world release—the first of its kind for Under Armour. Pop-up activations and influencer marketing play a significant role, going so far as to deliver shoes to online celebrities in white Rolls-Royce Phantoms. (Phantom is the name of one of Hovr’s first models.)

Digital ecommerce is ravaging retailers, and Under Armour is no exception. Last year, the company reported their first quarterly loss since going public in 2006. Under Armour shook things up by hiring a new COO and CMO in 2017 and is shifting focus to young consumers with technology like app-connected shoes and gaming.