SBJ/Nov. 1, 2010/This Week's Issue

BofA orders sponsorship group by discipline, not sport

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

Bank of America has restructured its sports sponsorship group, replacing a vertical structure in which employees were dedicated to specific properties like baseball with a horizontal structure in which employees will work in specific areas like activation.

“The changes represent a move toward a platform-agnostic approach to organize the bank’s sponsorship work,” said Bank of America spokesman Joe Goode, who declined to comment on specific personnel changes.

The change comes a month after the bank named Charles Greenstein as its new global sponsorship marketing executive. Greenstein replaced Ray Bednar, who held the position from 2006 until this summer.

Under Bednar, the sponsorship division was divided into teams that worked on specific properties such as baseball, motorsports and the Olympics. Employees within those divisions handled everything from on-site activation to hospitality to promotions against their respective sports.

Greenstein is opting for a more integrated system that will result in teams specializing in strategy, activation, hospitality and property management. Those teams will work across all of the bank’s sponsorships.

Bank of America’s current portfolio includes MLB, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, nine MLB franchises, four NFL teams, 12 racetracks, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the Peachtree Road Race and Atlanta Half Marathon.

Under the new structure, Cindy Nguyen, a former regional sponsorship executive, will oversee strategic sponsorships marketing, a new role that will focus on developing strategies that fit the bank’s business initiatives. Those initiatives have shifted from being focused on the affinity credit card and debit card business toward cross-selling across areas ranging from wealth management to home loans to investment banking businesses.

Rachel Gangel will lead the bank’s activation and hospitality group. She joins the sponsorship group from the bank’s enterprise strategy and execution marketing team. She will be supported by Brian Siegel, who will develop hospitality programs designed to offer one-on-one client interaction.

Chris Traeger, former senior vice president of football sponsorships, will serve as the bank’s property management executive and will manage all external relationships.

Bob Williamson will serve as the business support executive responsible for the return on investment of sponsorship. He joins the sponsorship group from the banks’ global marketing and corporate affairs division.

Lance Ballard, who was a senior vice president, and Mike Hargrave, who worked on motorsports, are both pursuing other opportunities.

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