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BizBash Sports Power Players 2023: Lara Krug

Lara Krug is the CMO and executive vice president of marketing for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Lara

Lara Krug is the CMO and executive vice president of marketing for the Kansas City Chiefs. She's based in Kansas City, Mo. 

How I got here: "After spending 10-plus years in marketing, media, and experience functions for consumer products, I had the opportunity to join the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021 as their first-ever CMO and build their marketing team and capabilities. My past experience leading premium brands like Anheuser-Busch and L’Oreal in their quest to grow their business and build loyalty among their consumers helped lead me to this role."

Greatest career accomplishment: "There have been many memorable moments in my career over the years. Some of those highlights include leading the global experiential team at Anheuser-Busch InBev and establishing partnerships for World Surf League and Tomorrowland (EDM festival), to leading the turnaround of Stella Artois–AB InBev’s most premium brand–in the U.S. with Super Bowl campaigns featuring Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges. Joining the Kansas City Chiefs itself has been a highlight–it was an incredible honor and responsibility to be named the first CMO in the storied history of the organization. Being part of a championship-winning brand has allowed us to do more and strive for bigger goals, including an aggressive international growth plan for the future of the club and the NFL, which included hosting our first regular-season game in Frankfurt, Germany, earlier this year."

Something I wish I'd known at the start of my career: "Every job and every role will be additive to your skills and career, even the moments that are difficult or frustrating. Understanding how to work in difficult situations, different cultures, different management styles, and to be pushed will allow you to become a more prepared and productive employee, as well as allow for you to have stronger opportunities as you grow. Along with hard work, soft and hard skills are equally important, and I believe those are the things that have helped me be successful over the years and have helped me become a better manager now."

How I've seen fan experiences evolve: "Both fans and experiences continue to evolve, whether that’s in terms of behaviors, preferences or needs, and how they are delivered–live, virtual, hybrid. Along with those dynamics, the goals of what the brand or the passion point for whomever is leading experiences are ever-changing too. One observation that I’ve found, though, is that the core of what people are still looking for in most experiences is entertainment. That can be a collective experience–something with others who share their passion for a sport, music, or brand—or singular, something they can walk away with or use as 'currency' later to share with their social network."

Favorite sports activity to do in my free time: "I love playing tennis, and with two little kids at home, there is a lot of backyard soccer going on, which is fun to see them play."

Favorite moment in sports history: "Winning a Super Bowl and being on the field with your co-workers and team who work tirelessly and with passion is and was the best experience. I hope there are many more, but that first one was a core memory that will stay with me forever."

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