Russell Ford brings more than 25 years of corporate marketing and advertising agency experience to his role as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Champion Management. Successful brand building and marketing expertise are the cornerstones of his career as evidenced with his repositioning work for two major brands, America West Airlines and Reliant Energy. He is a marketing strategist who grasps the big picture but focuses on details and integration.
Russell’s marketing background has been primarily focused in highly competitive retail and service categories. in addition to being a strategic visionary, he embraces the chance to brainstorm to find creative solutions to issues or challenges. idea generation is a core strength and is viewed as a critical component for marketing plans.
Russell — or Rusty as he is known to his friends — has a passion for developing creative and highly effective marketing campaigns. He has supervised the development of numerous domestic and international marketing campaigns for brand building or tactical purposes. and targeted both consumer and business audiences. He has worked closely with some of the most creative marketing agencies in the world including DOB, Publicis, Hal Riney and The Richards Group.
Rusty is especially adept at sponsorships and sports marketing as he has been involved with sports for most of his career. He is able to identity. evaluate. negotiate and activate targeted sports sponsorships, titling rights, promotions. entertainment marketing and special events. One of his proudest accomplishments is negotiating the largest and most comprehensive sports venue naming rights deal known as Reliant Park. He also directed American Airlines‘ largest and most complex sponsorship program – World Cup soccer. This included coordination with numerous governing bodies and other sponsors, overseeing a 22-department task force and executing marketing programs across the globe.
Rusty is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a double major in Marketing and Finance, and a minor in Advertising. Post graduation, Rusty started his marketing communication career by working for three advertising agencies in account service. Agency experience includes The Richards Group, Ackerman & McQueen and Temerlin McClain. The education was invaluable as he learned how to maximize agency relationships. This proved to be beneficial when he jumped to the client side in 1990.
Rusty worked for more than seven years at American Airlines overseeing both advertising and promotions. He was then recruited to America West Airlines to reposition and polish the brand post-bankruptcy. Rusty was recruited to Reliant Energy in 1999 as its first vice president of advertising and brand equity as it was shedding a regulated mentality to start competing for customers in electricity and telecommunications.
On the personal front, Rusty has been happily married to his college sweetheart since 1990 and is the proud father of two very active sons. He likes to volunteer his time to charitable efforts and coach his son’s sports teams. Personal hobbies include golf, snow skiing, fly fishing and college sports.