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Published March 23, 2009
Jason Dial, Procter & Gamble’s director of global sports marketing, rejects the notion that convincing multiple brands to agree on a recent, groundbreaking NFL sponsorship was difficult. That’s because Dial is the father of four.
“Putting multibrand deals together is a whole lot easier than doing multi-children vacations,” he says with a laugh. Even so, Dial has become known as a bit of a cat herder during his two years in the role as chief sports marketer across P&G’s 300-plus brands — a job that never existed before Dial took it on.
“We’ve taken our strategic framework for brand building and layered sports into it,” said Dial, an 18-year P&G veteran. “It’s not good for the property or the brand unless sports is seen as a longer-term play. So we insist that any sports property has to perform above category minimums as far as ROI, and ideally in the top 10 percent. Then you don’t have to worry about programs being cut.”
Recent successes include putting three female brands — Cover Girl, Gillette Venus and Secret — into a USA Gymnastics sponsorship, along with building a proprietary Snow Angels snowboarding event for Cover Girl.
Dial has to convince brand managers with the purse strings to invest in sports. Never were his political skills more taxed than when he was fashioning a recent five-year deal that gave multiple P&G brands NFL marketing rights, the company’s biggest multibrand sports deal ever.
“Jason’s implemented change at a large and important marketer,” said John Tatum, whose Genesco Sports Enterprises services NFL sponsors Coors, Motorola, Campbell Soup, Pepsi and Frito-Lay. “If he can continue to pull that off with the NFL, it will be a tremendous accomplishment.”
How hard was it to get the NFL deal to coalesce?
“Sometimes, getting two brands to agree on anything is a miracle,” Dial said.