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Volume 21 No. 1
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Forty Under 40: Alison Giordano



Company: MasterCard
Title: VP, senior business leader, U.S. consumer and sponsorship marketing
Age: 39
Where born: New York City
Education: University of Virginia (B.A., foreign affairs); American University, Kogod School of Business (MBA, concentration in finance and marketing)
Career background: Momentum (AT&T Olympics account), ESPN (sponsorship development), Cotter Group (NASCAR marketing), WETA-PBS (corporate marketing), MasterCard (global sponsorships: FIFA World Cup, Ryder Cup, Rugby World Cup, and then moved to the U.S.)
Family: Husband, Matt; daughter, Mia (6); son, Ryan (5)

Favorite app: UP.
Favorite way to unwind: Go to the beach.
Guilty pleasure: “Downton Abbey.”
Cause supported: Stand Up To Cancer.
I have a fear of … : Bugs.
Most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is … : Sailing bareboat around the BVIs with my husband.
2014 will be a good year if … : I accomplish my goals at home and the office.

As the senior business leader and vice president of U.S. consumer and sponsorship marketing at MasterCard, Alison Giordano has spent a decade developing the company’s sponsorship portfolio and is the driving force in the evolution of the brand’s sports presence.

With early activation strategies that centered on elevating the MasterCard brand to sports fans and partnering with issuing banks to drive value to their channels, Giordano has been instrumental in building the company’s emphasis on experiential marketing.

“Where we are now, it’s really about enabling and creating ‘priceless’ experiences through our partners for our cardholder fan base,” said Giordano, using as a description the term that’s been at the heart of the brand’s more recent campaigns.

With the creation of the Legends Academy, Giordano led an initiative that focused on providing cardholders with the opportunity to learn and play alongside PGA Tour golfers. Since its launch in 2011, MasterCard has hosted eight academies where more than 600 cardholders have played with the likes of Tom Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia, Curtis Strange and Nick Faldo. Cardholders also have been granted access to premier golf courses throughout the country through the Member for a Day program.


SBJ Podcast:
Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and project editor Mark Mensheha talk about the Forty Under 40 selection process and the class of 2014.

Giordano is tasked with heading these private events while simultaneously managing MasterCard’s seasonlong relationship with the PGA Tour. “We’ve created a blueprint that’s now very easily executable,” she said.

In addition to the golf presence, Giordano has guided MasterCard’s partnership with Major League Baseball and Stand Up To Cancer, including the “Eat, Drink, and Be Generous” campaign. The initiative has seen MasterCard donate a penny to Stand Up To Cancer when customers pay with a credit or debit card while dining out, along with making additional donations for fan photos being uploaded to Stand Up To Cancer’s Facebook page. The effort has raised $20 million since its inception in 2011.

— Anna Hrushka