Monday, February 1, 2010

Staying in the Game in Non-Olympic Years

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Olympics take center stage for just two weeks every two years, but for Lisa Baird, chief marketing officer for the United States Olympic Committee, it's a 24/7, 365-day-a-year job to make sure the U.S. teams are well-funded via sponsorships.


And as marketers have pared back advertising budgets, Ms. Baird's job has become tougher. Former Olympic advertising stalwarts like General Motors and Home Depot have left -- although Procter & Gamble came in last year and signed a major deal with the USOC.


Ms. Baird, 48, has been with the USOC barely a year. In her 25-year career she has held senior marketing positions with organizations such as IBM, General Motors, Procter & Gamble and, most recently, the National Football League, where she directed the league's consumer products, direct marketing, e-commerce, entertainment marketing and advertising programs. She oversaw a portfolio of more than 150 licensees that delivered $3 billion in retail sales. Ms. Baird developed the league's first consumer-generated ads for the 2006 Super Bowl, launched the NFL's first youth and Hispanic websites and helped develop NFLShop.com into one of the premier e-commerce sites in sports. She also launched the first virtual sports world for kids, NFLRushZone.com.


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