Nascar Names First Female CMO

Women Now Hold the Top Marketing Posts At Three Pro Sports Leagues

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Jill Gregory
Jill Gregory Credit: Nascar

Jill Gregory has broken Nascar's glass ceiling, becoming the auto racing association's first female chief marketing officer. Ms. Gregory, who joined Nascar in 2007, was promoted after serving as senior VP-marketing and industry services.

Her ascension means that women now hold the top marketing jobs at three of nation's largest pro sports organizations. Pam El was named the National Basketball Association's CMO in 2014. That same year the National Football League hired Dawn Hudson as its CMO. The first female to lead marketing for a pro sports league was Jacqueline Parkes, who was named the CMO for Major League Baseball in 2008. She left MLB in April and in May was named exec VP-marketing and creative for Viacom's MTV. MLB has decided not to immediately fill the CMO role.

Nascar's previous CMO was Steve Phelps, who was promoted to the role of exec VP-chief global sales and marketing officer. That puts him over global marketing, partnership and series marketing, business development, integrated marketing communications, licensing and consumer products and Nascar digital media. Ms. Gregory will oversee brand and consumer marketing, brand platforms, entertainment marketing, driver marketing, team marketing, social media and analytics and insights.

In a statement, Nascar credited Ms. Gregory with revising the association's marketing this year "so the organization now leads with fan engagement and digital and social media first, which has been reflected in the popular 'Ready. Set. Race' marketing campaign." She also led the "#Hashtag500" social media program that "saw the highest volume of Nascar-related conversation ever measured on record," according to the statement.

Nascar also announced that Norris Scott has taken on the newly created position of VP-analytics and insights and that Lou Garate was promoted to VP-partnership marketing.

"We've been bold in our efforts to modernize and diversify our business and executive team, and these changes further reflect that fact," Brian France, Nascar chairman-CEO, said in the statement.

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