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SBJ/March 21-27, 2011/Forty Under 40
Forty Under 40
Published March 21, 2011, Page 39A
O’Hagan was elevated to president of Gatorade in January after joining the PepsiCo-owned company as chief marketing officer in 2008. She helped launch Gatorade’s G campaign in 2009 and this year will add to the campaign with the rollout of the G-Series Fit product.
“The transformation of Gatorade has been as much about the new products as it has been about the campaign that has supported it,” O’Hagan said. “My role is in leading teams in developing the new products and how to communicate that to the consumer.”
Big brand marketing is hardly new to O’Hagan, who before joining Gatorade worked for Nike overseeing the company’s notable Air Max 360 launch. She also has worked for Atari and Virgin Atlantic.
But Gatorade’s G-Series launch may be her biggest initiative yet as she leads the company’s effort to redefine itself.
“When you relaunch an iconic brand like Gatorade, people only see what they see and there was some skepticism and confusion, but Sarah stayed the course,” said Massimo d’Amore, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages Americas. “She is very motivating, and we expanded her scope because she is very effective.”
While O’Hagan is pushing Gatorade’s multiyear rebranding strategy, she also is committed to preserving the company’s stable of professional sports properties.
“We will absolutely maintain our traditional sports properties, but in addition, we will start to bring some nontraditional [properties],” O’Hagan said. “The strategy is to redefine our audience. Now we make products for every type of athlete, from someone in a gym to Peyton Manning.”
Title: President, Gatorade North America
Education: Bachelor of Commerce, University of Auckland; Diploma, direct marketing, New Zealand Direct Marketing Association
Family: Husband, Liam; children, Sam (6), Joe (4) and Gabby (2)
Career: Started in the airline business and then moved into the entertainment business via the Virgin Group and finally the sports industry via Nike and Gatorade
Last vacation: Skiing at Lake Tahoe
|What's on your iPod: Kanye, Katy Perry,
Eminem, Usher, Florence, GaGa … all of it, really!
Guilty pleasure: “Sex and the City” re-runs on
Best stress release: Running to exhaustion
on a treadmill followed by a tub of Ben & Jerry’s
Pet peeve: When my battery runs out on my iPod during a run
Greatest disappointment: The All Blacks
in the 2007 Rugby World Cup
Fantasy job: Being Phil Keoghan, host of “The Amazing Race.” He’s a kiwi, so why not?!
Business advice: Have the courage to say no!
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean