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Volume 23 No. 24
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Forty Under 40: Stephanie Joukoff

Photo: steve maller photography
Photo: steve maller photography
Photo: steve maller photography

Global Olympics sponsors typically start preparing for the Games at least four years in advance. Intel’s Stephanie Joukoff had just seven months to go from white board to the opening ceremony for the 2018 Winter Games. 

Senior Director of Global Marketing: Olympics, Sports, Emerging Technologies, Intel Corp.

Age: 37

Born: Walnut Creek, Calif. 

Education: Stanford University, B.A., international relations, minor in Russian language and literature 

Family: Husband, Jamie Qualk; children, Sasha Qualk (7), Katerina Qualk (4) 

You wish you knew 10 years ago: Think it through, but don’t overthink it. Connect the dots. Always trust your gut.   

Guilty pleasure: Gym. Beach. Wine. Repeat.

Something your friends would consider “so you”: 10 days, 5 cities, 1 roll-on suitcase.

Could not go a day without: Breaking a sweat! 

Causes supported: Currently I serve on the Sales & Marketing Women at Intel board as the marketing and communications chair. I’ve volunteered with Buena Vista Auxiliary on early intervention literacy programs in my local school district. 

Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Beth Brooke-Marciniak.

Sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Using technology to digitize, personalize, engage and reimagine the fan experience of the future.

A daunting task? Yes, but an exciting one for a former Stanford synchronized swimmer who attended the Atlanta Games as a teen. “Of course you’re nervous, you want it to be great,” Joukoff said. “But as scary as the challenge might be, I just love having a blank slate and imagining something from scratch.”

As the newest global sponsor, Intel was also one of Pyeongchang’s most active. Under Joukoff’s direction, Intel pushed its products into the conversation with multiple, ambitious technical and promotional projects in Korea. It launched 1,218 “Shooting Star” drones into the air around the opening ceremony for a light show and built a TV spot around it, earning 14 billion global impressions.

Intel also organized the first Olympics-adjacent esports event, convincing the International Olympic Committee to lend the rings to a video game
competition for the first time. Other advances in virtual reality and 5G broadband-enabling hardware were also on display.

Joukoff credits her background in sports for giving her the discipline and focus it takes to pull off such ambitious projects. Breathing techniques she learned on the pool deck now get deployed before big presentations, and the team dynamics still pay off.

“To be surrounded by people who are pushing you and supporting you every day, that’s an amazing thing to grow up in, and when you grow up, you appreciate having that around you,” she said.

Since Pyeongchang, Intel has put Joukoff in charge of marketing strategy and campaigns for all of its major sports partnerships.