SBJ/February 28 - March 6, 2005/Forty Under 40

John Galloway



John Galloway joins SportBusiness Journal’s Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame this year, a recognition of sustained success for an executive who is guided in business by a belief in long-term deals.

John Galloway
• Title: Director of sports marketing
• Company: Pepsi
• Age: 38
• Education: B.S., journalism, Manhattan College, 1989
• Family: Wife, Denise; daughter, Julia, 7; son, J.J., 4
• Career: Worked for Burson-Marsteller Public Relations and Wunderman Cato Johnson Sports Group, where he handled sports marketing for Miller Brewing; worked as an account supervisor on Pepsi with Tracy Locke Partnership; joined Pepsi in 1996, spending time as a brand manager for Mountain Dew and as director of flavors marketing in Europe; promoted to current position in 2001
• Last vacation: San Diego
• Last book read: "Bringing Down the House" by Ben Mezrich
• Last movie seen: "Meet the Fockers"
• Greatest achievement: This year, it was thwarting Coke's decision to have eight cars in our title Pepsi 400 race.
• Greatest disappointment: I didn't get to come back to run the New York City Marathon, but I'm on it for 2005.
• Fantasy job: Head football coach at West Point
• Executive most admired: Steve Reinemund, PepsiCo chairman — It's an honest suck-up move. He's a former Marine and he's a visionary.
• Business advice: Take a job that has to do with your passion so that you enjoy your life 24 hours a day.
“We don’t want to rent relationships,” said Galloway, Pepsi’s director of sports marketing since 2001. “We want long-term relationships so we can really invest in them and do neat stuff. We don’t work well when we are looking at a contract on a daily basis.”

Galloway last year helped negotiate a long-term extension of Pepsi’s sponsorship with the NFL, a deal that now runs through 2011. The nature of the agreement is vintage Galloway: He wants no part of short-term deals, preferring instead to lock up key sports properties for the long haul to protect Pepsi’s brand.

Pepsi’s long list of sports properties includes a long-term sponsorship of Jeff Gordon and a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race; Major League Baseball; and naming-rights deals in Denver, Indianapolis and Albany, N.Y. In addition, Pepsi’s Mountain Dew brand is lead sponsor of the Dew Action Sports Tour, which debuts this year.

Mountain Dew long ago established itself as the biggest brand in action sports. Galloway now is banking on the company’s five-year sponsorship of the NBC-Clear Channel tour at a reported $3.6 million per year to forge even deeper inroads.

“We’ve always subsidized action sports and built a successful platform, and now we have a vested interest to make it even larger,” Galloway said.

Those who know Galloway say he’s also working to spread the Mountain Dew brand through outlets other than sports.

“[Galloway] is going to be leading the charge on some Mountain Dew entertainment stuff later in the year, and those are the things I’m impressed with,” said John Tatum, a partner of Genesco Sports Enterprises, which counts Mountain Dew as a client. “[Galloway] sees an opportunity and then goes full force through the door.”

While Galloway insists on long-term agreements with Pepsi’s sports properties, Pepsi takes a different approach with its executives, preferring a management strategy of regularly rotating executives into new jobs. Galloway’s predecessor, Katie Lacey, spent just two years on the job before being moved.

Before Galloway assumed the post, he worked as brand manager for Mountain Dew and as flavors director for Pepsi’s Europe and sub-Saharan Africa business.

So is it time for a new assignment?

“As long as every year there are challenges, I’m not looking to be jettisoned anytime soon,” he said. “But it’s not up to me.”

Galloway, an Army brat, relishes the battles that come with his job. Four weeks before last year’s Pepsi 400 NASCAR race, Galloway learned that Coca-Cola was planning to run eight cars in the race, posing a major threat in the ongoing branding competition between the two soda giants.

Immediately, his team went into action, creating a promotion that would give fans a free can of Pepsi Edge if Jeff Gordon won the race, helping create a buzz around the Pepsi brand. As if on cue, Gordon won the race.

“We have nine people assigned to our properties, and they take it seriously,” Galloway said. “I am a pusher and a bit aggressive, but it was the best of a team effort.”

The big challenge this year, Galloway said, is to keep sports marketing at the top of Pepsi’s overall branding strategy.

“You have music, technology and gaming, and the question is, how do you keep sports innovative and on the forefront of consumer promotions,” he said. “It’s tough to build brand equity simply through traditional advertising. You have to market through every channel and communication, and today there are a million channels, and we have to make sure the channels are effective.”


“John Galloway is a seasoned professional and committed partner to Major League Baseball. His entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovation have made him an industry leader, which is illustrated by his accomplishments at Pepsi. John’s passion and excitement about his work only enhances his abilities as a marketer, which is why I am so proud to count him among my business partners and friends.”

John Brody, senior vice president,corporate sales and marketing, MLB

“John brings a lot of enthusiasm and passion to Pepsi’s sports marketing endeavors. When he believes in a direction or a cause, then he’s going to channel all of his energies to seeing that through. He does a great job of managing and motivating his people … not only his employees, but his agency support, as well.”

John Tatum, partner, Genesco Sports Enterprises

“The thing I appreciate the most is his passion for what he does. Some go about their business matter-of-factly, but John believes in it and it resonates through both his expressions and the way he represents the brand. He’s a tough negotiator and he comes in and tells you what he can and can’t do. He understands and appreciates that one-sided deals aren’t beneficial.”

Paul Phipps, chief marketing officer,International Speedway Corp.

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