A Day In The Life With Gatorade Exec Jeff Kearney
Gatorade Global Head of Sports Marketing JEFF KEARNEY spends a lot of time on the road -- his next trip will be to Madrid for the UEFA Champions League final on June 1 -- but when he’s at home and working from the company’s Chicago office, he’s at his desk by 7:00am. His work day is spent brainstorming new ideas and reaching out to various execs within the sports industry, including MICHAEL JORDAN's manager ESTEE PORTNOY and ABBY WAMBACH's agent DAN LEVY. Kearney took some time out of his busy day to walk THE DAILY through his routine.
5:45am: That’s when my alarm is set. However, I’m one of those cursed people who wakes up before it goes off. I haven’t heard my alarm for 20 years. I walk to the train station, rain or shine, hot or cold. It’s just under a mile from my house, and then it’s a 20-22-minute express train to the city and I’m at my desk by about 7:05 every morning.
7:00-9:30am: This is my time to hammer out as much work as I can. Catching up on emails, replying to things, requesting things, reaching out to partners at teams or leagues or schools, talking to agents, anything that’s externally-focused. I like to close my office door, because on occasion it helps me maximize that time.
9:30-11:30am: Meetings. This could be our marketing leadership team discussing big-picture brand decisions, projects, investments, you name it. That’s a cross-functional group of the different leaders here. We meet on a weekly basis. This could be several breakout meetings based on our business needs, opportunities, connecting with my team on partnership work or reviewing a campaign featuring an athlete.
11:30am-1:00pm: We’re fortunate as an athletic brand to have a fitness center in our building. I’m one of those who likes to squeeze in my workout before lunch if I can. I mostly log miles on the treadmill, but on occasion I’ll do some cross-training work. As much as I’d rather get outside, the convenience factor, plus the competitive nature of everyone kind of peaking at each other’s treadmills to see who’s going the fastest, makes it quick and easy to get a workout in right here in our building. Then I have a quick bite to eat for lunch. It’s normally a quick visit to our cafeteria for something light.
1:00-5:00pm: More meetings, but these are more of my structured weekly check-ins. There’s a method to the madness here. Certainly things pop up, but these include connecting with the leaders across my group, discussing everything from budget management -- because, yes, we do have a salary cap, contrary to what a lot of people think -- to management of an event to global strategic planning to upcoming travel.
5:00-7:00pm: I don’t know if I want to say this out loud or not, but I’m normally that guy that’s running down the street, grabbing my laptop and cords, with everything kind of hanging out of my bag and jacket, to catch my train. I promised myself that once I had kids, I would either have breakfast or dinner with my family every day. It’s rarely breakfast. I travel a lot for work, as does my wife, CAROL, so it’s really important to me and to us that dinner time is family time.
7:00-9:00pm: Aside from carpools to and from sports practices or games, it’s homework time for everybody. We have a boring house. My two kids, JACKSON and REGAN, are focused on their work, as am I. I normally get the laptop out with a sporting event as background noise. This time of night is about working on presentations or proposals or other projects.
9:00-10:00pm: I’m a to-do list guy. I’m a big believer in having a game plan, so each night I’ll type up a priority list that sets up the next day. It’s inclusive of a handful of high-priority things. I sleep a lot better knowing that I have a plan of attack.
10:00-10:30pm: I might get pulled into studying for a quiz or helping the kids work on German or social studies or whatever it might be. But for me it’s time to wind down. I’ll watch a game or put something on TV, and next thing you know I’m rolling over about six minutes before my alarm’s going to go off.
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