CMO Impact
Achieving Personal & Career Success

CMO Club Spotlight: Tim McDermott of the Philadelphia 76ers

December 01, 2015


This week, we’re turning the spotlight onto Tim McDermott, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer of the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Chapter President.

Tim McDermott, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Chapter President

Tim McDermott, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Chapter President

1. What was your first (or favorite) job you’ve had?  

In 2006, I became the CMO of the Washington Capitals.  It was an amazing experience to work for Ted Leonsis. We had monthly mentoring meetings for which I am forever thankful. I still think about how incredible it was to have a monthly meeting with Ted to discuss business and leadership!  Meanwhile, my tenure at the Capitals represents one of my proudest accomplishments and most enjoyable experiences as I was part of one of the greatest brand turnaround stories in sports history.

2. What are the three most important components for your personal and professional success?

  • Managing complexity and creating a simple vision and plan
  • Inspiring others
  • Relationships are everything

3. Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current position as Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer. 

I was Senior Director of Marketing for the Philadelphia Eagles during a time we created the fastest growing brand in sports according to Forbes. I started seeing the “big picture” and understanding how various functional disciplines intersect with one another to fuel growth. I also worked for an amazing boss in Mark Donovan (now the President of the Kansas City Chiefs) who pushed me to move mountains while at the same time understanding the importance of collaboration and how to drive revenue opportunities.

4. What characteristics do you value most when hiring new marketing talent for your team

Loyalty. Intellectual curiosity. Drive. Humility. Teamwork.

I want people who are always looking for the next big thing. Not because I told them to, but because that is who they are, how they are wired. I want people who will push for greatness and move mountains. But again, not because I asked them to, but because that is who they are. And I want people who will root for their teammates and catch them if they fall. Again, not because I asked them to, but because that is who they are.

5. What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing for your brand?

Last year we installed a 3D court projection system – one of the first in the NBA to do so.   I am excited to see how this technology will continue to evolve and allow us to enhance the customer experience.  I also think we are just beginning to see what is possible in wearables and augmented reality.

6. Which book would you recommend to your fellow Heads of Marketing right now?

Books?  Who has time to read books?!  I am more of a snacker these days. I actually prefer to soak in tidbits of information from a host of sources. That said, I recently started Soulful Branding by Jerome Conlon. And I have always been a fan of Purple Cow by Seth Godin as I think the concept of creating a remarkable, unique differentiation is critically important to creating a successful, sustainable enterprise.

7. Name one CMO who impresses you today and tell us why. 

I think the Dominos transformation the past few years led by Russell Weiner has been really impressive. I love their willingness to change and reinvent themselves. I love how customer-centric they are and how willing they are to listen to their customers for direction and ideas. Likewise, their latest move into digital ordering is really innovative.

8. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote? 

It’s not what you do, but who you do it for/with.

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