After a lengthy search process, Shannon Watkins has been named Jordan Brand’s new chief marketing officer. The former director of brand and marketing at Aflac Inc. will begin her tenure on May 16.
The move to the Nike subsidiary makes Watkins one of the nation’s most powerful black women in sports marketing. Watkins, who joined Aflac in 2018, was instrumental in the insurance company’s partnership with ESPN College game day while renewing the focus on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Watkins replaces Sean Tresvant, who is now global brand director at Taco Bell. Watkins will report to CEO Craig Williams and take over at a pivotal time for Jordan Brand as purpose and culture continue to be at the forefront of the brand’s marketing campaign.
“We need innovative leadership, someone who can lead us into the future by igniting creativity, championing diversity and bringing our purpose to life,” Williams said. “Shannon’s experience across multiple industries and lines of business will do just that, helping to direct our marketing efforts into the future.”
Williams, who like Watson is a former Coca-Cola executive, hasn’t been shy about shifting Jordan Brand’s focus to the black community since the death of George Floyd in 2020, which he says will also financially profitable. Jordan Brand revenue reached $4.7 billion in the prior fiscal year, an increase of more than 30%. The company will publish its results next June.
Jordan Brand has been credited with leading Nike’s post-pandemic resurgence, along with some of the world’s most notable athletes, including Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Dallas forward. New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson, promoting the company. Jordan Brand has also been more active in NASCAR, recently taking ownership of 23XI Racing, securing Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch as drivers.