NFL’s Marissa Solis on the ‘Run With It’ campaign, and finding her calling in marketing

The league’s global brand and consumer marketing chief reflects on a career left turn that made all the difference.

NFL’s Marissa Solis on the ‘Run With It’ campaign, and finding her calling in marketing

Ad Age is marking Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 with our Honoring Creative Excellence package, in which members of the Hispanic community revisit some of their favorite creative projects. (Read the introduction here.) Today, guest editor Marissa Solis, senior VP of global brand and consumer marketing at the National Football League, writes about the “Run With It” campaign created for Super Bowl LVII.

After 20 years as a marketer, I can confidently say my journey has been a result of unexpected twists and turns. While in college, I was originally studying to become an ambassador, hoping to bridge cultural divides and foster global connections. Little did I know that fate had a different plan for me—one that led me into the world of marketing.

A pivotal moment in my career took place during my time with PepsiCo, where I was given the opportunity to create a Hispanic business unit, a pioneering business team dedicated to serving the 60 million-strong Latino market in the U.S. As I worked to understand the distinct needs and aspirations of Latinos and how PepsiCo could support the community and better engage Hispanic consumers with our iconic brands, my eyes opened to the true power of marketing. Looking back, I credit this role for transforming me into a new kind of ambassador for brands and, more importantly, for my community.

Fast forward to today, as the senior VP of global brand and consumer marketing at the NFL, I’m happy to once again find myself in a unique position to uplift my Latino community, but this time in a different way. In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, the NFL is an iconic brand and has a massive platform that yes, entertains, but also educates and inspires.

One of the projects I am especially proud of is “Run With It” for Super Bowl LVII. This project allowed us to shine a light on the remarkable achievements of women in flag football, tell Diana Flores’ inspiring story and bring the Latino community to the forefront of our efforts on one of the biggest stages in sports and culture.

Diana’s story specifically resonated with many because it showcased the determination and resilience that define so much of the Latino community. As a woman who has broken barriers to become a leader in my field, I see my own story reflected in Diana’s. I’m proud to have helped share her story with the world, and I plan to share many more so we can continue to break down barriers, create a more inclusive world, both on and off the field, and celebrate the Latino community’s impact on football and the U.S. as a whole.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I reflect on the honor it has been to play a part in amplifying my community’s voice and ensuring we are celebrated. While I may not have become the ambassador I once envisioned, I have found a different path—one that allows me to be an ambassador in my own right, championing the voices and stories that make our community truly exceptional. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month, and here’s to many more celebrations of the rich tapestry that is our culture.