90 seconds with… Miri Keck, Director of Brand Marketing at World Rugby

Miri Keck - World Rugby and Ex. Adidas

Insights from Miri Keck: Leadership Lessons and Future Trends in Marketing

Miri Keck, Director of Brand Marketing at World Rugby and a former marketing leader at adidas, joined Izzy Huddart from tml Partners’ Sports and Entertainment team to offer candid insights into her career journey. Here’s what she had to say:

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

As women, we’re often not naturally great at self-PR. Our society praises women for being humble, and more often than not, we confuse self-PR with bragging. But when done right, self-PR isn’t self-appraisal or fishing for compliments; it can really take you places in your career. Strive to be the best at what you do but make sure you communicate it effectively and are vocal about your achievements and yourself.

Who is your business hero and why?

Joe Carby, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at adidas, has taught me a great deal about meaningful storytelling and confidence in my own abilities. While being an amazing leader, he has retained the ability to connect with consumers and gets incredibly excited by great marketing.

What has had the most influential impact on your leadership skills and why?

There are many traits associated with great leadership, but one that has had a significant impact on me is the ability to remain calm when things are hectic. Some of the best leaders I was fortunate enough to encounter were like swans – feet frantically paddling underwater, but on the surface, they projected an image of calmness and grace.

What future trends do you think marketing and communications will see in your sector over the next five years?

We will see an increase in personalised and interactive content and campaigns tailored to consumers’ interests and needs, thanks to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). With the era of influencer marketing coming to an end, this presents a significant opportunity for brands to reconnect with consumers and gain their trust, building fresh and long-lasting relationships

What has fundamentally changed about your industry since you started working in it?

Thanks to technology and ease-of-access to it, consumers are no longer just consuming content; they have also become producers. While the type of content often isn’t as beautifully curated, it’s well-shot, edited, and genuine—it’s real. Consumers have developed a creative eye, and brands are rightly being called out for mistakes in content. The power has shifted towards consumers, putting brands under more scrutiny to get their storytelling and content right. Brands that do are rewarded with a new level of consumer loyalty and connection.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for marketing, brand & communications leaders?

There is a significant demand for sustainability and ethical marketing, which will continue to grow. Consumers now seek more than just products or services; they want to understand a brand’s values, particularly regarding environmental and social responsibility. Our marketing efforts must go beyond simply highlighting a product or campaign; we are promoting our entire brand, giving attention to our sustainability efforts and ethical conduct. We need to reconsider how resources are allocated to cover this broader narrative, ensuring that consumers connect on a deeper and more authentic level.

If you could go back 10 years, what career advice would you give yourself?

Be ambitious, work hard, and strive to be the best, but discard the idea of ‘giving it your all’. If you expend everything you have, you’ll be left empty and won’t be able to sustain your performance. Retain a portion of your energy for yourself, and you’ll be able to push even harder.

Who are tml Partners?

tml Partners are marketing, commercial and communications recruitment specialists with access to a global network of marketing leaders. Our Sports & Entertainment team support leading sports brands, governing bodies, agencies and rights holders to find the right senior talent.

To learn how tml Partners can help you or to take part in future content pieces, get in touch with Izzy Huddart:

+44 (0) 203 909 8629
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