After a 10-year stint marketing PepsiCo snacks such as Cheetos and Ruffles, Brandi Ray is now involved in one of the company’s biggest bets—Mtn Dew Rise, an energy drink backed by LeBron James that debuted earlier this year. Ray, PepsiCo’s senior director of marketing for its energy portfolio, also works on Rockstar, which the company acquired last year in a move to compete with the likes of Monster and Red Bull. “The category is massive and it’s growing, and Pepsi has a unique opportunity to create something special,” she says.
Ray, 39, was heavily involved in the debut campaign for Rise starring James, which pushes the drink as a morning jump-start and includes one scene showing the hoops star salsa dancing. “He’s an incredible dancer,” she says. “We showed him the routine one time and he had it down.”
Ray, who got her start at PepsiCo as an intern in 2009, also co-leads PepsiCo’s Black Employee Resource Group and played a key role in helping the company respond to calls for racial justice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.