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SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40
Forty Under 40
Published March 21, 2011, Page 44A
Taylor, the insurance company’s director of marketing, negotiated MetLife’s cornerstone sponsorship at New Meadowlands Stadium and continues to manage the relationship and building activation between the insurance company and the NFL home of the Jets and Giants.
MetLife’s 12-year deal was the first of four cornerstone sponsorships to support the new $1.7 billion stadium. Those deals are estimated at $8 million annually, topping naming-rights agreements at many other NFL venues. Anheuser-Busch, Verizon and Pepsi followed in succession.
For MetLife, and Taylor especially, being first through the door gave the brand an edge over the others in bargaining sessions, said Alex Gomez, vice president for Van Wagner, the insurer’s agency of record. MetLife’s deal was announced June 16, 2008, 22 months before the stadium opened and five days after Taylor’s 29th birthday.
“Being first in always helps; Kim is a shrewd negotiator,” Gomez said. “MetLife is a prestigious brand for New Meadowlands Stadium and the deal fits with its overall global strategy. This is not just a New York deal.”
The MetLife Central activation at the stadium revolves around a loyalty card program for regular football fans to win field passes, seat upgrades and the opportunity to watch the game from a suite.
The access to premium locations has made the MetLife space the most energetic and fun corner for fans, said Thad Sheely, the Jets’ executive vice president of finance and stadium development.
It has been no easy task for MetLife to engage fans at the stadium, considering insurance is “the most challenging product to sell in a sports environment,” Sheely said. “Kim’s been a huge part of that.”
In addition, Taylor has managed MetLife’s iconic sports blimp program since she started with the firm in 2003. In December, the company launched its first blimp in Japan after buying Alico, a Japanese insurance firm.
Title: Director, sports marketing
Education: Davidson College
Family: Fiancé, Jeffrey Hirschfeld
Career: MetLife since 2003; before that publicist at Penguin Putnam
Last vacation: Skiing in Aspen
What's on your iPod: Led Zeppelin, Robbie Williams, Pearl Jam, Hotel Costes
Guilty pleasure: A glass of champagne
Best stress release: Strumming my guitar
||Pet peeve: When complete strangers stop me on the street to inform me that I’m tall. Believe it or not, I’ve known I’m 6-foot-2 for a while.
Greatest achievement: The time and influence I’ve been able to share with girls in an orphanage I do work with in Honduras
Greatest disappointment: Missing out on Woodstock
Fantasy job: I’d like to be a host on the “Today Show,” especially for the “where in the world” travel segments.
Business advice: Spend more time asking questions instead of giving answers.