Diageo takes on sporting supremo for global brief

Alcohol giant Diageo has appointed top sports marketing director Sean Jefferson to head its global sponsorship marketing activities.

The appointment will fuel speculation that Diageo is poised to take a bigger role in sport sponsorship, given Jefferson’s football sponsorship background.

Last year, Diageo was linked with sponsoring the FA Cup but pulled out of talks at a late stage (MW June 5, 2003).

Jefferson will hold the newly created title of global sponsorship director and will report to the company’s head of marketing procurement, Alison Littley.

The move marks a return to an alcohol marketing role for Jefferson, who worked at brewer Bass before he moved on to work in sports marketing in 1995 at the Lowe Group.

Jefferson joined Interpublic-owned sports agency Octagon in 1997 before becoming managing director at sports agency Arena (MW July 27, 2000).

He left Arena at the beginning of 2003 to work as a freelance consultant for companies such as Sky.

Jefferson will be tasked with finding and managing sponsorship across all of Diageo’s brands.

The company has a relatively low sponsorship commitment. Gordon’s Gin became the first commercial brand to sponsor the Turner Prize earlier this year in a &£1m deal, while Diageo’s Bailey’s brand was a sponsor of TV show Sex and the City.

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