Marketing Tips from Diageo and NWSL

Marketing Tips from Diageo and NWSL

CANNES, France—Artificial intelligence may continue to be one of the hottest topics at Cannes Lions and beyond, but an ADWEEK House session on Tuesday veered in a different, more sentient direction.

And the CEO of Time magazine, Jessica Sibley, was there for it.

“I think what I love about this conversation is we’re not talking about AI,” said Sibley, who moderated a panel called “Marketing Around the World: How Global News and Trends Influence Brand Strategy” that included the chief marketing and innovation officer of Diageo, Ed Pilkington, and Julie Haddon, the chief marketing and commercial officer of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

“What you do is about connecting human beings and connecting people,” Sibley said of the sports-centric session. “And it’s those moments where you’re going to a game, you’re planning and traveling, you’re enjoying that with friends, family, colleagues, being part of a community. And so much of that has gotten lost. And I just think talking about the human connections and how you lean into that for your revenue and your business is so important.”

Keeping an eye on both stateside and worldwide audiences, Haddon and Pilkington shared some best practices.

Know thyself

While it may sound like “marketing 101,” per Pilkington, it’s always a good reminder “to be clear what your brand stands for and make sure you manage it consistently.” 

Look for similarities across territories, whether those are European countries or U.S. states, because “if you think about it, as human beings we are 99.9% the same,” Pilkington said.

What plays in Peoria

With 14 markets across America, the NWSL reaches into cities that are as varied as night and day, Haddon said. The soccer clubs have to “find their own vibe, their own uniqueness, their own way that they’re resonating with their fans and players.”

Angel City Football Club in Los Angeles, for instance, and its CEO Julie Uhrman have built an entertainment brand, touting celebrity owners such as Natalie Portman and Jennifer Garner in “a crazy hotbed” of professional sports. 

Meantime, clubs in Kansas City and Washington D.C. tout their own particular personalities.

“We have a team in Houston that’s very different than the entertainment capital of the world and what Angel City would do,” Haddon said.

Speak the language

Studying consumers broadly is one thing, but getting to know them where they live is a vital next-level move, per Pilkington.

“You need to understand the local nuances,” Pilkington said. “It’s really, really important to how you bring that positioning to life locally—it depends on that local understanding.”

Diageo—home to Johnnie Walker, Casamigos, Crown Royal and other tipples—has a Premier League partnership. The booze behemoth also inked a deal several years ago as the first spirits sponsor of the National Football League, he said, spreading across 50 states and including 21 teams. 

“What that gives us is tremendous reach,” Pilkington said. “The ability then to execute on the ground and to bring that to life with that local team really matters.”

Originally Appeared Here