Growth, Partnerships, Sport Business | Mar 3, 2020
Inside the marketing philosophy underpinning deal with Gillette CEO Gary Coombe.

Gillette has a long history in sports marketing. But recent years have seen a dramatic shift in the way the P&G-owned grooming brand has executed its marketing strategy, not least through its approach to sports marketing partnerships and positioning.

According to Gillette CEO Gary Coombe, speaking backstage at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London in October, the company now looks for partners whose values are ‘congruent’ with those of Gillette.

In the short video interview, Coombe explains the thinking behind the shift in marketing positioning, and the process of making it happen, a process that had, at its core, a belief that consumers “expect brands to deliver something more to society than delivery of a functional benefit.”

The new Gillette – the best a man can be, rather than get – requires a new type of brand ambassador; an ambassador who is preeminent in their field, but one who also makes a contribution to society through the upholding of a set of values. And that, according to Coombe, is exactly what new Gillette brand ambassador Raheem Sterling brings.

Coombe announced the new endorsement deal at Leaders in October, and Sterling’s first piece of work for Gillette was launched earlier this month.

Using football as a platform for inspiration and mentorship, ‘Made of What Matters’, features a short film that highlights Sterling’s contributions on and off the pitch. The campaign includes a partnership between Gillette and youth education charity Football Beyond Borders.

Gillette Stadium is home to the New England Patriots; one of the NFL’s most successful-ever franchises.


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Coombe speaking alongside Mike Wragg of Nielsen during Leaders Week London 2019.

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