Müller UK and Ireland’s top marketer Michael Inpong is departing the dairy products company after almost 10 years, to set up a consultancy firm that specialises in uniting sports with brands.
Inpong will leave his position as strategy and marketing director for Müller Yogurt and Desserts in January. He has been the brand’s most senior marketer since replacing Lee Rolston in 2012 as marketing and R&D (research and development) director, having already worked for brands including Nestlé, P&G and L’Oreal.
He was promoted to global CMO in 2015 and played a crucial role in reviving Müller’s brand portfolio in the UK, initiating an innovation drive that saw the company take the top spot in the yoghurt and chilled desserts category from rival Danone in 2013. He took on his most recent role at the company in January 2020.
Based in Birmingham, Sports&Brand aims to build “stronger bridges” between the two worlds, while showcasing how sport can drive positive change across equality, diversity and inclusion in society.
The company’s core offerings focuses on three pillars, including audits, strategic solutions, and training.
Müller on putting female voices at the heart of its pre-Olympics push“The successful marriage of sport with brands can happen,” Inpong says, pointing to Müller’s multiple sports partnerships. The marketer played a leading role in Müller’s partnerships with the Olympics Team GB, GB Taekwondo, GB Triathlon, NBA, World and European Championships since 2017.
Inpong then established partnerships with British Athletics and athletes including Dina Asher-Smith, Hannah Cockroft, Laura Muir and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
“However, many rights holders remain anxious to better connect with brands and many brands want to better maximise their investment in sport. So, I decided to help and try to be a matchmaker,” he adds.
“Brands and sport come from two different planets. Today they too often settle on the lowest common denominators like logo inclusion and free tickets. Sport&Brands is a consulting firm that creates stronger bridges between these two worlds. We will drive value for the benefit of rights holders, events and brands and also importantly, the fans.”
The consultancy is being co-founded with analytics and business intelligence expert Flore Pirard, who claims experience spanning the Science Museum through to local government in London.
Speaking to Marketing Week earlier this year, Inpong said he saw the return of sport as central to creating normality in a post-Covid world. He also made female empowerment a constant in Müller’s campaigns.
Under Inpong’s leadership, Müller picked up a Marketing Week Masters award in the consumer goods category in October.