Brent Montgomery‘s fledgling media and marketing enterprise Wheelhouse Entertainment has appointed Dan Sanborn, a long-time Diageo North America marketing executive, to launch and head the company’s brand and marketing division Wheelhouse Labs.
Wheelhouse Labs will sit alongside flagship division Wheelhouse Entertainment with the purpose of pairing content creators and established and emerging talent with advertisers reaching beyond typical branded content.
In his new posting, Sanborn (pictured) will serve as president of Wheelhouse Labs and chief marketing officer for Wheelhouse Group. He will be tasked with overseeing Wheelhouse’s growing roster of brands and investments, productions and pioneering partnerships – including content and development company Kimmelot, launched last fall by Wheelhouse and Jimmy Kimmel.
Sanborn joins the Los Angeles-based multi-media company following 16 years with Diageo North America, a global leader in the beverage-alcohol industry, where he most recently served as senior vice president of culture and partnerships.
Diageo, meanwhile, will continue to work with Sanborn as a client of Wheelhouse Labs.
Sanborn reports into Wheelhouse Group CEO Montgomery and will also work closely with Edward Simpson, chief strategy officer of Wheelhouse Group, and Sean Cohan, president of Wheelhouse Entertainment and chief business officer for Wheelhouse Group.
Elsewhere, Wheelhouse has also acquired a minority stake in Stephanie Jones’s public relations, marketing and communications agency, JonesWorks. As such, Jones will become Wheelhouse Group’s chief branding officer, and Wheelhouse Labs will work closely with the agency to leverage its high-profile and diverse talent roster, as well as its expertise in consumer product and celebrity branding.
JonesWorks clients include Tom Brady, Dwayne Johnson, Venus Williams, Gisele Bündchen, Scooter Braun and SB Projects, Dany Garcia, Zac Brown Band, private aviation company Wheels Up, Ocean Spray, and Happy Family Organics, among others.
“At Wheelhouse, our paramount goal is to provide a one-stop-shop for talent, brands, entrepreneurs, renegade producers and everyone in between looking to take big swings across various industries; we also aim to offer significant advantages for competing in this high-stakes environment,” said Montgomery in a statement. “To accomplish this, you need a ‘dream team’ with the vision and savvy to leverage our production infrastructure and partnership engine. Dan Sanborn is the perfect mad scientist to run our lab – he also happens to make a mean Old Fashioned – and JonesWorks’ founder Stephanie Jones is a uniquely smart, fearless, out of the box thinker who understands and can harness the power of brands and celebrity across all spectrums and audiences. As a major component of the overall Wheelhouse strategy, Labs is off and running under incredible auspices.”