NFL appoints female CMO amid domestic violence scandal

The National Football League (NFL) has named former PepsiCo senior marketer Dawn Hudson as its chief marketing officer as it tries to quell fan and sponsor fears it does not take domestic violence seriously.

NFLPlayers-People-2014_460
Hudson joins the NFL at a time when sponsors and fans are concerned it does not take domestic abuse seriously.

Hudson joins the business next month when she will take charge of the development and activation of the marketing strategy for the league. She is to report to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

She replaces Mark Waller, who has recently returned to his previous role overseeing the NFL’s international expansion, focusing on the UK.

The timing of the announcement, just days after the NFL hired four female consultants to improve domestic abuse and sexual abuse policies, suggests the organisation is attempting to show fans and sponsors how seriously it views the recent domestic violence allegations aimed at its players.

Sponsors Procter & Gamble and AB InBev alongside women’s advocacy groups have criticised NFL chiefs for being too lenient in its initial reaction to a domestic violence incident involving Baltimore Raven’s star Ray Rice and his wife. The concerns have been compounded by the recent arrests of other players for wrongdoing including child abuse and aggravated assault.

The fallout from the incident casts a shadow over the league’s three-game international series, which starts at Wembley this weekend. However, to date much of the media attention has been focused in the US where the league and its players are household names.

Perceptions of the league are showing signs of improvement following a dip in the immediate aftermath of the scandal, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex. Women rather than men have driven the upturn with league’s Reputation scoring -9 for the former compared to -30 for the latter.

Hudson’s appointment sees her resume old ties to the league first formed while she worked at its sponsor Pepsi in the early noughties. During her 11 years at PepsiCo, she held several senior positions including president and chief executive of Pepsi Cola in North America. Most recently, Hudson has spent the last five years as vice chairman of business consultants the Panthenon Group.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here