2 Minutes With... Jen Martindale, SVP of Marketing, Chicago Cubs

On brands learning to build a fan base

Jen is currently senior vice president of marketing for the Chicago Cubs. With 25 years of industry experience, she has worked with global brands, nonprofits and startups. Category expertise includes consumer goods, arts and entertainment, sports, multi-unit retail/restaurants, automotive and the military. Other stints include the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Leo Burnett and McCann WorldGroup.

We spent two minutes with Jen to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Jen, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I grew up in Harbor Springs, Mich., which is a resort town on the shores of Lake Michigan, near the "tip of the mitten." Now I live on the other side of the same big lake. I'm a Chicago boomerang. I lived here for many years post-college and then moved to San Francisco and New Orleans before coming back in the summer of '23. I just realized that I've always lived near large bodies of water … Lake Michigan, the Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River. Maybe it's because I'm a water sign. Shoutout to my fellow Cancers.

Your earliest sports memory. 

I have some fuzzy memories of the 1984 Detroit Tigers winning the World Series. But I mostly remember the Tigers' "Bless You Boys" campaign from that year. 

Your favorite sports team(s). 

I'm always rooting for the teams I've worked for, so I'm ride or die for the Cubs, New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans Saints. Now that I'm back in Chicago, I've also started following the Sky and the Red Stars. I also married into Nebraska football fandom, so Go 'Skers!

Your favorite athlete(s).  

Sha'Carri Richardson (Track), Adbert Alzolay (MLB), Taysom Hill (NFL), Herb Jones (NBA) and Mallory Swanson (NWSL). That's my starting five. And I've got Jose Alvarado (NBA) as my sixth man.

Your favorite sports show or podcast. 

I like pods hosted by athletes, so I listen to The Compound, The Old Man and the Three and New Heights. I like Club Shay Shay. And I'm always trying to raise my baseball IQ, so I listen to Effectively Wild, Flippin' Bats, Baseball Is Dead and a whole bunch of Cubs pods

Your favorite sports movie and/or video game. 

Bring It On

A recent project you're proud of. 

We partnered with the Netflix show I Think You Should Leave to create a Dan Flashes x Cubs shirt. Because when you walk by a store and see 50 Cubs fans fighting over complicated shirts, you go in. Yes you do.

Someone else's project that you admired recently. 

The Pop-Tarts Bowl mascot:

It was pure camp and it was just so meme-able. Bravo to Kellanova and their agencies.

Something coming up for your organization that you are excited about. 

We're already planning the Cubs 150th anniversary, which is in 2026. But more imminently, we're ramping up for 2024 Opening Day tomorrow. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel the sunshine and taste a Chicago-style hot dog. 

What sports can do that nothing else can. 

Sports are the great unifier. They can bring people together across demographics, politics and geography. Sports fans feel a deep emotional connection with their favorite teams that most brands would kill for. I think a lot of business verticals could take a page from pro sports when they think about building brand fans.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world. 

I'd have more hobbies.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series,

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