Marketing Leader of the Year 2017

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Young Marketing Leader of the Year 2016 – Anne-Lise Johnsen

Winner: Anne-Lise Johnsen, Arsenal FC


Anne-Lise Johnsen knows exactly what she wants out of her career in marketing and is possessed of a level of certainty typically associated with older, more experienced professionals.

Early on in her career, she decided she did not want to tread a conventional route. She avoided working on a graduate scheme or for an FMCG brand, and instead combined her passions, or “the three things that make me smile” — sports, youth and marketing.

At Arsenal Football Club, Johnsen oversees the Junior Gunners Club. On being given charge of the membership scheme in 2014 her plans to develop it were met largely with indifference and yet she has since grown the club, using social media to build a larger community and securing investment from commercial partner Indesit.

She is clearly making her mark at Arsenal, with one of her directors identifying her biggest strength as her “charming directness”, adding that she “should never change, as it is key to your knack in building exceptional cross-functional relationships”.

Observers can expect to only see Johnsen’s upwards trajectory continue. She repudiates Norway’s ‘Law of Jante’, a concept ingrained at upbringing. It states that one should never consider oneself better than anyone else, and that focus should be on the collective, not the individual.

“This combined with being told that a career in sports marketing is impossible to achieve, has truly shaped my ambitions and hunger to fight for a future I want,” she says. “


A chance to get on our International Marketing Leaders Programme
Each year, the winner of Young Marketing Leader of the Year at our Excellence Awards gets a complimentary place on our acclaimed International Marketing Leaders Programme – developed in partnership with Brand Learning.

The course – which takes place in London, Singapore and New York, depending on your location – is a phased leadership development retreat, designed for individuals preparing for marketing leadership roles. For many senior Marketing Society members, this is what took their career to another level.

Find out more and apply here.