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Volume 22 No. 11
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Cyndie Wang, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Photo: Courtesy of Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Cyndie Wang

Head of Global Sponsorships and Alliances, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Born: Taipei, Taiwan
Education: B.S., business administration, University of California, Berkeley; MBA, Harvard Business School

Everyone in sponsorship marketing knows that sometimes less is more, and the right partner-property fit is more important than deal size. In reality, it takes extraordinary discipline to actually deliver on those principles, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Cyndie Wang has done it.

After a long stint at Visa, where she cut her teeth on the Olympics, and another at Octagon, Wang joined Hewlett Packard’s sponsorship shop in 2013. Since then, she’s endured headline-grabbing changes at the tech giant as it first split into HP and HP Enterprises in 2015, and then again two years later when it spun off the software business.

During this time, she intentionally downsized the portfolio, centralized sponsorship marketing into a single center of excellence, and executed a strategy that would include only deals that could lead directly to enterprise sales. Wang understands that properties need more than just a check — they need help optimizing the fans’ experience — and knows how to close the deal to make that happen.

 

HPE is integral in the construction of a new tech-enhanced stadium for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, and will deliver connectivity services for fans at the Ryder Cup. Wang also has finished another deal with the Mercedes-AMG Formula One team, which will use HPE technology to drive vehicle development.

 

Of her approach to dealmaking, she says: “People don’t think I’m trying to sell them on something they don’t want. I want to work with them to create something that’s advantageous to them.”

 

— Ben Fischer

Getting to know...

Attribute I look for when hiring: An understanding of what it means to build mutually beneficial partnerships and work effectively and collaboratively with others.
Networking works best when:
Done in more intimate and deliberately orchestrated settings.
Misperception of working in sports:
The entire job is a boondoggle [and] that it’s all about cocktails and canapes.
Woman in sports business I’d like to meet:
Kim Ng (senior vice president of baseball operations for MLB) because she may not stand out at first glance as someone who should be where she is, but I bet she is a formidable force of nature to ascend in the way she has in a male-dominated field. I’m not an obvious pick to be someone who works in sports because I don’t have the traditional “all sports, all the time” background and prefer to quietly make things work in the background.
I wish I’d known at my career’s start:
I wish I knew sports business and sponsorship marketing were actual career options.