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Meet One of the Most Powerful Women in Sports: Shannon Watkins Becomes CMO at Jordan Brand

Photo Credit: Sportico

The Jordan brand might be known for the legacy Air Jordan shoe and its Jumpman symbol of excellence, but now diversification of their employment ranks looks is becoming part of their history.

The company recently announced the addition of former Aflac chief brand and marketing officer Shannon Watkins, who joins the athletic lifestyle apparel company as its chief marketing officer.

Watkins begins her new role at the Nike-owned brand on May 16.

Blessed And Grateful

“Blessed and grateful to join the amazing Jordan Brand Family!” Watkins reportedly said via Linkedin.

Her profile describes her as a “proven, classically trained marketer consistently at the forefront of culture, and skilled at leveraging emerging trends to drive enduring brand relevance and growth.”

Now Watkins is one of the most influential Black women in sports marketing. Joining Aflac in 2018, Watkins facilitated the insurance provider’s partnership with ESPN’s “College “ She also reportedly renewed the company’s focus on HBCUs.

An Expert Marketer

Watkins’ history in marketing is extensive, as she spent over eight years at the Coca-Cola Company and was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Sports for 2021 by AdWeek.

“For decades, corporations have experienced and celebrated a monolithic image of a CMO, Watkins said to the Black Executive CMO Alliance.

“I am excited to continue to expand the aperture of what CMO leadership is – a focus on both brand and enterprise growth. I am thrilled to join a community of exceptional C-Suite leaders focused on serving the organizations they represent, and the deep pipeline of Black CMOs.”

Competitive Market

She enters a highly competitive and lucrative market, where Jordan Brand had sales of $4.7 billion for fiscal 2021, up from $3.6 billion the prior year, hitting a new sales record.

The company’s following earnings report comes in June, a month after Watkins begins.

Read full story at The Shadow League here.

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