Houston Rockets name new chief marketing and strategy officer

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The Houston Rockets announced Monday that they have named Julian Duncan as the team’s new chief marketing and strategy officer. He most recently served as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of social responsibility for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

In addition to directing the marketing, promotional, and branding efforts, Duncan will also oversee fan experience, digital content, retail, and community engagement. The press release reads as follows:

“Julian has a proven track record for brand innovation and leadership.” said Gretchen Sheirr, president of business operations for the Rockets. “We believe Julian’s impact will resonate not only within our organization and fanbase, but throughout the Houston community.”

“As a native Houstonian, it is a dream come true to have the opportunity to come back home and join the Rockets,” said Duncan. “I am excited to be part of an organization with such a rich history and to help build upon a brand that is endeared by Rockets fans across the globe.”

Duncan played football at Rice University while double-majoring in Sport Management and English. He earned an MBA from Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business in 2006.

Following a stint as a player in NFL Europe and the Canadian Football League, Duncan returned to Houston as a business analyst in the energy field. He later joined Nike’s Marketing Development Program and became their Global Brand Director. During his time at Nike and later Under Armour, Duncan’s work promoted the brands of numerous athletes and cultural icons, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Serena Williams, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Along with a collection of global CMOs, Duncan serves on the steering committee and advisory board for Adweek’s Brandweek platform, whose mission is to catalyze the growth and development of marketeers worldwide through event experiences, online and print engagement, mentorship, and training.

With Houston set to pick at No. 2 in the first round of the NBA’s 2021 draft next week, it’s an opportune time for the franchise to bring in an established leader to lead their marketing push. From a branding perspective, the player they select at No. 2 (assuming they keep the pick) will instantly become the team’s most visible player since James Harden.

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