SBJ/October 8-14, 2012/Game Changers

Game Changers: Laurie Tucker

Photo: COURTESY OF LAURIE TUCKER
Tucker directs FedEx’s brand strategy, but plans to be in full
fan mode for Denny Hamlin at Homestead this November.
Laurie Tucker
FedEx
SVP, Corporate Marketing

When FedEx’s NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin, takes the last lap at Homestead next month, Laurie Tucker most likely will be shouting at the top of her lungs. Tucker spends most of her days directing the FedEx brand strategy, but she allows herself to be a fan once in awhile, too. “Expect to see me at Homestead when Denny claims his [Sprint Cup] championship trophy,” Tucker said. “I haven’t missed Homestead since we got into NASCAR eight years ago. I’ll go out on a limb with Denny and say, ‘This is our year.’”

Tucker has been with FedEx for 34 years, and she’s worked in a variety of roles throughout the company, including customer service, finance and IT. Now, she directs millions in marketing spending each year, notably in NASCAR and the PGA Tour, where she negotiated an extension to title the tour’s FedEx Cup earlier this year.
— Michael Smith
  • What is the best advice youve ever received?: Make the main thing, the main thing — knowing how to focus on what is most important and give it priority.
  • What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?: Don’t be as concerned about being liked as being effective. Women have a tendency in business to be peace-makers and collaborators, but we have to also have conviction and determination, which may mean ruffling a few feathers for the sake of getting business results.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Joe Gibbs inspired me before I ever met him. They just don’t get any finer than Coach Gibbs.
  • Woman in sports business youd most like to meet: Danica Patrick. I’d love to get to know more about what inspires her to compete in her sport and what drove her to switch from open-wheel racing.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“Laurie oversees far more than FedEx’s sports portfolio, so she has a great perspective in determining the role that sports plays in the overall marketing mix. Laurie is a great leader and motivator. When someone that senior and influential in the organization is intimately involved, it helps make sponsorships more effective.”

  • David Grant, principal, Team Epic
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