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Volume 22 No. 18
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Sports marketing chief Dubiel leaving Pepsi

Pepsi sports marketing chief Jeff Dubiel has resigned from the company after 13 years.

Dubiel has headed Pepsi's sports marketing portfolio since November 2008.
Since November 2008, Dubiel headed the sports marketing portfolio for the $57.8 billion beverage and salty snacks company, which includes sponsorship rights for MLB, NFL, NHL and the Dew Tour, and deals with Hendrick Motorsports that include drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

“This was entirely a personal decision,” Dubiel said. “I’ve had a lot of fun and satisfaction doing sports marketing for Pepsi, but after 13 years, I just decided it was time to think about something new.”

Dubiel said that fashioning the Pepsi Refresh project was a high point for him. The cause-related project integrated nearly every one of the company’s sports sponsorships.

Dubiel said he would stay with Pepsi through the end of June. After that, “I haven’t made up my mind whether I want to stay in sports or get back to more mainstream brand marketing,” he said.

Dubiel is leaving with a solid reputation among industry peers. “Jeff always understands the larger marketing picture at hand and as a result, he works hard to support both his own company’s initiatives and those of the property,’’ said John Brody, former MLB senior vice president of corporate sales and marketing, who now heads Wasserman Media Group’s sales efforts.

The question of a successor to Dubiel is an intriguing one, since his departure comes during a time of reorganization within Pepsi.

“Everyone sees a restructuring coming,” said a source familiar with Pepsi politics, “so the person running sports could be anyone from an internal candidate like [Gatorade senior vice president of sports marketing] Jenny Storms if they move to consolidate Gatorade and Pepsi sports marketing, to an outside candidate or even a P&G model, where individual brands control their sports marketing.”

Before being named vice president of sports marketing after the promotion of former company executive Ralph Santana, Dubiel held the title of vice president of premium beverages and did stints at SoBe and the Starbucks/Pepsi beverage partnership. He was a marketing manager at the Gallo Winery before joining Pepsi.