SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers

Game Changers: Jackie Woodward

MILLERCOORS
Woodward (center) leads the media and marketing services group at MillerCoors.
Jackie Woodward
MillerCoors
VP, Media and Marketing Services

The framed Vince Lombardi photo hangs on the wall in Jackie Woodward’s office. The words in it: “Confidence is contagious.” Another framed quote in her office comes from Colin Powell: “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

The words that are among Woodward’s favorites reflect the energy she puts into every idea in MillerCoors’ sports and entertainment marketing, where the vice president leads marketing, media and business affairs for the MillerCoors brands. She’s been in that role the last three years for MillerCoors and the last five-plus years for Miller, going back to pre-merger days.

Her persistence has been evident in many areas of MillerCoors’ marketing, from its recent sponsorship buys in the college space to the company’s five-plus years of Hispanic marketing initiatives through Mexican soccer that are starting to pay off with greater sales and a strong brand awareness within that demographic. Three-quarters of MillerCoors’ total TV advertising spending in 2010, about $214 million, was dedicated to sports, highlighting the company’s emphasis there and Woodward’s passion for marketing through sports, something she showed for years previously at McDonald’s, guiding their global efforts.

“Our properties and partners are the intersection where brands meet consumers,” she said. “Sports is a force multiplier for many of our brands. They have to come to life and have a personality, and sports is often where that happens.”

— Michael Smith
  • First job: Assistant account executive at GolinHarris Communications, responsible for managing the McDonald’s All-American High School Band program.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: Nothing takes the place of persistence.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Paul Schrage, the first CMO of McDonald’s. He’s a marketing pioneer who knows the smell of a great idea and is unafraid of risk.
  • The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Finding good ideas. The business operates much the same way it did when I first got into it 25 years ago. There are far too few people who have breakthrough, imaginative new ways to connect sponsors with fans.
  • If I had to do it all over again, I would …: Try to spend some time working at a chocolate company, to complete my guilty pleasures trifecta. A delicious Big Mac and a great tasting Miller Lite — all that’s missing is a little chocolate for dessert.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“Jackie has a unique ability to see well beyond the traditional sponsorship and advertising model to truly develop meaningful business partnerships.”

  • Keith Wachtel, senior vice president, integrated sales, NHL
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