Being a company with as large a global footprint as ours presents plenty of its own challenges. Finding ways to connect to a global audience can often be one of the most challenging tasks to tackle.
That's where Talita Andrade comes in. Talita heads global experiential marketing for sports. Whether it's supporting and amplifying events like the World Surf League or soccer competitions around the world, her job involves bringing the world's passion for beer together with our global love for athletic competition.
And as you might have guessed, these days her job requires a little extra focus on FIFA and the upcoming World Cup™.
The sheer importance of the tournament couldn't be more apparent to Talita. “Sport brings people together,” she says. “We see the World Cup as a global holiday where everyone comes together from all walks of life. Being involved just makes perfect sense.”
Talita says that helming a partnership as large and complex as the FIFA World Cup™ means that there is no such thing as a typical day at work. But according to her, this is precisely what feels rewarding. “I usually travel two weeks out of every month outside of the U.S.,” she says. “Beyond my professional life, getting to know different cultures and our teams in different places makes my job even more enriching.”
Not surprisingly, preparing for the tournament leaves no shortage of work, from training all 90+ activating countries on the guidelines, to supporting our Russian team to be ready for one of the biggest events on earth, to hosting more than 2,000 guests at our Budweiser Hotel in Moscow.
“I've never worked with so many sectors of the company — communications, sales, trade marketing, corporate affairs, legal, compliance, finance, supply, security, risk management… I work with everyone to make sure we have a well-oiled machine across all of the functions. I'm not doing this alone, of course! But it's my responsibility to oversee it from start to finish,” says Talita.
Even before her current travel routine took hold, Talita was no stranger to working with an international market: Her previous position was also on the global experiential marketing team but overseeing the Music passion point. And although Talita's focus has shifted over time, her role has always included supporting both the company's global brands (Budweiser and Corona) and local markets when connecting through each passion point. She says that no matter what the medium, her job has always involved finding ways to bring AB InBev brands to a global audience in a meaningful way. As with sports, working with music presented many opportunities for this. She explains that the process involved not only choosing which music festivals or artists to work with but also fine-tuning what the company's involvement would look like. According to Talita, “It was as much about ‘how can we make it most relevant for us as a company?' as it was ‘how can we make it more rewarding for the consumer?'”
Having studied communications and marketing, Talita admits that her current career isn't the one she had envisioned for herself years ago, and her experiences within the company have given her an entirely new perspective on how to engage with people as part of her job description. “Creating an ad and putting it out there is one thing, but creating an experience around something people are so passionate about is very rewarding in a completely different way,” she says. “It was never my plan, but I'm glad that the company saw this skill in me and has put it on my career path. I'm very passionate about experiential marketing.”
Talita says that the company's culture and strong values make what would otherwise be an impossible task feel manageable. “A big part of working at ABI is never being satisfied. We always admit that we still have a lot to learn! I think we're big enough to be able to find partners like Tomorrowland [electronic music festival] and FIFA and create something global, yet meaningful and human, serving our consumers through brand experiences. And this is all while staying incredibly humble as a team. It helps because we're always trying to improve on how we can add value to the consumer's life.”
Talita has nothing but optimism for a big year and beyond. “FIFA World Cup™ will define my 2018 experience, without a doubt. It's my life right now...I live and breathe this. I can't wait for the day that we're all there!” She's also excited to take on other partnerships in her recently expanded role as the Global Head of Sports. “Helping Budweiser activate their sports strategy in countries all over the world makes me incredibly excited,” she says. “It's going to be great!”