Power Players 2007: 26 - 30

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INDEX | 1 - 5 | 6 - 10 | 11 - 15 | 16 - 20 | 21 - 25 | 26 - 30
26 JOHN
SLUSHER
VP-GLOBAL SPORTS MARKETING
NIKE
AD BUDGET:
$678.4 MILLION
AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Interpublic's R/GA, N.Y.
  • MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami
  • Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
  • Avenue A/ Razorfish, Seattle
  • POWER PLAY:
    Nike last month tapped John Slusher as its top global sports marketer. No doubt that was a reward for leading stellar performance in his previous job as VP-sports marketing for Asia and the Americas, which posted revenue growth of 22% and 15%, respectively, in the quarter that ended Aug. 31. Mr. Slusher, a former O'Melveny & Myers attorney, also was responsible for negotiating Nike's relationships with all major pro sports leagues.
    DOWNSIDE:
    While the international growth Mr. Slusher helped stoke is soaring, the 38-year-old executive will have to find a way to boost U.S. sales in an uncertain economic environment that's hurting the mall stores Nike depends on to sell its pricey shoes. U.S. revenue advanced only 2% over a year ago in the quarter that just ended, and apparel sales actually declined. At the same time, rivals such as the newly merged Reebok-Adidas combination and Under Armour are aggressively chasing markets Nike traditionally has dominated. Nike has indicated it will boost ad spending to help Mr. Slusher fend off those challenges for share.
    27 KATIE
    BAYNE
    CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
    COCA-COLA NORTH AMERICA
    AD BUDGET:
    $740.8 MILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Interpublic's Fitzgerald & Co., Atlanta
  • MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami
  • Anomaly, N.Y.
  • Doner, Southfield, Mich.
  • Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco
  • Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Katie Bayne, 41, took the marketing reins at Coca-Cola in April as part of a restructuring. Ms. Bayne runs what she calls an in-house "strategic marketing shop" with the task of turning around the all-important cola business while boosting emerging beverage brands, particularly those in the better-for-you segment. Coca-Cola Co. acquired Glacéau just weeks after she took the helm. Coca-Cola has shown willingness to experiment in new areas, such as an upcoming co-branded iced-coffee beverage with Caribou Coffee.
    DOWNSIDE:
    The soda business, now positioned as "sparkling beverages," is foundering. Coca-Cola has rolled out vitamin-enhanced versions of top-selling drinks such as Diet Coke, but they've yet to garner loyal followings. Consumers regard traditional sodas with increasing skepticism, and upstart, independent manufacturers such as Hansen's are gaining ground.
    28 TONY
    PALMER
    CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
    KIMBERLY-CLARK CORP.
    AD BUDGET:
    $208.8 MILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, JWT and MindShare, N.Y.
  • Anthem Worldwide, Chicago
  • POWER PLAY:
    Since becoming Kimberly-Clark's first CMO last year, Tony Palmer, 47, has done the seemingly impossible -- made a marketer of diapers, toilet paper and feminine products look dynamic. K-C has shifted 25% of its marketing spending to nontraditional media. And the affable Australian is leveraging the scrappiness of low-budget brands such as Duckbill face masks and Wypall shop towels to show the rest of the company how to think differently. Mr. Palmer has done this while following orders to find enough savings to pay his salary and those of his enlarged marketing team. K-C has been meeting or beating organic sales targets, pleasing Wall Street.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Kimberly-Clark still has an intractably struggling business: feminine care. A bold Kotex repackaging effort backfired big time. Procter & Gamble Co.'s Always has won victory after victory that could take a generation or two to overcome. P&G also has begun grabbing substantial share from Huggies and Pull-Ups again. And gains by Viva, now No. 2, haven't stopped the march of P&G's Bounty, taking share from Scott. As always, recruiting marketers to Neenah, Wis., remains a challenge.
    29 GEORGE
    HARRISON
    SENIOR VP-MARKETING AND CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
    AD BUDGET:
    $44.9 MILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Publicis' Leo Burnett USA, Chicago
  • POWER PLAY:
    The Wii video-game console captured consumer attention and wallets. But while industry-shaking product innovation may seem an instant slam-dunk, the longtime Nintendo marketing team led by George Harrison, 54, still had to convince consumers to buy and play. Fueled by a $200 million budget starting in late 2006, they effectively used traditional marketing along with events, promotions and PR to reach a wide range of potential customers. Handheld system DS Lite (new in summer 2006, along with Touch Generations games for 40- and 50-somethings) got a fall push, and solid sales ensued. DS Pokemon games were backed with potent marketing and are still-going-strong hits.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Mr. Harrison has announced he will leave Nintendo at the end of the year because the company is moving its marketing operations to San Francisco from Redmond, Wash. Expect some transition growing pains in the marketing department. This comes at a critical time for Nintendo as some analysts are questioning the staying power of Wii and DS. It will be a challenge to prove them wrong. Innovation in hardware and fresh, original content in software -- backed by spot-on marketing -- will be key.
    30 LAURA
    COOK
    SENIOR VP-MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
    ALLTEL CORP.
    AD BUDGET:
    $159.2 MILLION
    AGENCIES INLCUDE:
  • Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.
  • POWER PLAY:
    When you think of the nation's largest wireless network, you probably don't think of Alltel, the Little Rock, Ark., company with just 12 million subscribers -- but it covers the largest amount of territory in the U.S. Laura Cook, 45, has made Alltel one of the toughest fighters in mobile. Last year she inaugurated the My Circle plan. The big guys offered free calls only to those on the same wireless network, but My Circle allows calls to any 10 phone lines, land line or wireless. In a gutsy move, Ms. Cook called out other carriers in Alltel advertising, first using their icons and then portraying a group of salesmen, one from each carrier, as a pathetic group of losers trying to scuttle Alltel and My Circle. A recent study found that 70% of non-Alltel customers had heard of the My Circle plan.
    DOWNSIDE:
    In a category where the top four players spend $5 billion on advertising, Alltel needs to keep its message compelling. Despite high marks from Consumer Reports for customer service, Alltel will find it more and more difficult to compete as rivals offer discounted bundled wireless along with other entertainment, land-line and internet services. However, new owners TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners spent $27.5 billion to acquire Alltel and are unlikely to be satisfied with life limited to small markets.
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