On a Roll: Bob Heussner

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Bob Heussner, 47, last October was named president of GM EventWorks, the Detroit-based event marketing unit of New York's Kaleidoscope Entertainment, from senior VP at Advantage International, Washington. GM EventWorks creates and manages all of General Motors Corp.'s major sponsorships including relationships with the Olympics, NCAA, Walt Disney World and Warner Bros., as well as Buick's PGA Tour activities.

Mission: GM wants to immerse people in its brands through events it owns and controls. The goal is to use our brands in original ways unmatched by any other marketer.

Opinion: Having such a partnership with our client -- including their name in our title -- is a first. We feel we are part of GM and we can serve them better this way.

Insight: Entertainment holds the key to reaching consumers, and there is great untapped potential in combining entertainment with sales opportunities. The GM Test Track ride at Florida's Walt Disney World is one example.

Challenge: Uncluttering the sponsorship world. It used to offer wide-open opportunities, but now it's getting to be a jungle. People will turn off on sponsorships if we don't police ourselves and rein it in.

Forecast: Marketers will do fewer events but on a bigger scale. Consumer impact is more powerful than mere exposure when it comes to selling cars.

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