November 2-3, 2021
Chicago, IL

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Susan Koehler

CMO and Head, Strategic Partnerships, FOOTPRINT

Susan Koehler knows sports, and she knows competition. An avid sports fan and former Division I student-athlete, Chief Marketing Officer Susan Koehler today leads marketing and commercialization for materials science technology company Footprint, with a mission of creating a healthy planet and healthy people, working with some of the world’s largest food and retail brands today to eliminate single-use plastic in our food chain by replacing it with alternative plant-based fiber solutions. Her scope includes building a trusted brand, building positive engagement with customers, partners and community leaders, developing new revenue streams and she launched and currently chairs the Footprint Foundation to advance education about sustainability and the harm that plastics cause in our oceans, in our food chain and the environment. She recently architected the winning partnership between Footprint and the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, which included naming rights and a transformation plan to replace single-use plastic with Footprint sustainable solutions while cultivating valuable consumer knowledge gleaned from a million fans per year in Footprint Center’s living innovation lab, and will extend to Real Mallorca in Spain. She also introduced Footprint’s sustainable coolers and other eco-friendly products in an exhibition at the 2020 Superbowl in Miami. Susan has a successful track record of breakthrough creative partnerships, building business alignment between the private sector and governments, local communities, and driving outcomes leading to awareness, audience behavior change, and customer acquisition. 


Prior to Footprint, Susan served in C-suite roles at large companies including nearly a decade at Microsoft, where among other roles she was Chief of Staff EMEA, based in Paris, supporting the president of Microsoft International; and she was the first CMO for Seattle-based Her career has also included stints at several consumer product companies and she has served on non-profit boards.


Susan attended Syracuse University, where she graduated with both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in advertising and marketing; and she has an MBA from Rutgers University. Susan has also been a member of Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board for WAPPP (Women and Public Policy Program).

Wednesday, November 03

Naming Rights and Your “Name” in Lights: What’s Hot. What’s Not with Brand Activation

Moderator: Terry Lefton, Editor-at-Large, Sports Business Journal

Chris Hibbs, President, Legends Global Partnerships
Susan Koehler, CMO and Head, Strategic Partnerships, FOOTPRINT
Molly Sapienza, Senior Vice President & Group Head, Corporate Sponsorships, PNC Financial Services Group
Tony Schiller, Co-Founder, Paragon Marketing Group