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Episode 85 of the Leaders Sport Business Podcast features a discussion with McLaren MD of Sales & Marketing Mark Waller (conversation begins at 20:28) from his home in Connecticut, USA. Waller joined McLaren in May last year, joining forces with his old friend Zak Brown, CEO of the Formula One team since 2018. Brown, who founded motorsport sponsorship specialist agency Just Marketing, had done plenty of business with Waller in the 1990s and early 2000s, when Waller held various marketing roles at global drinks giant Diageo.
Waller joined the NFL in 2006 as CMO, going on to become EVP of NFL International. He retains an advisory role at the league.
On the conversational agenda:
– Brown’s role at McLaren, how it came about, and why it’s the missing piece in his career puzzle;
– The new leadership culture being fostered at McLaren;
– The difference partnerships can make in the fabric of the sport;
– The post-pandemic future for Formula One, and for the global sports sponsorship market.
“There are a lot of sports where media and attendance revenues are the key economic drivers. In motorsport, the sponsorship part to your revenue is fundamental to how you fund the team. That’s incredibly energising and makes the work much more immediate.”