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Mike Ginley

Next Level Marketing

Mike Ginley is co-founder and partner of Next Level Marketing, a marketing and promotion agency dedicated to building premium beverage brands. Next Level specializes in building premium beverage brands through Brand Ambassador Programs, national sampling programs, special events and consulting services.   


Next Level Marketing has a 10+ year, proven track record of building premium beverage brands for an impressive roster of established and entrepreneurial brands including Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Stolichnaya Vodka, Palm Bay Wines, The Patron Spirits Company, Beam Suntory, The Macallan, Disaronno, Angostura and Brockmans Gin.  Next Level operates nationally with a team of over 50 full-time brand ambassadors working on a brand exclusive basis, over 17,000 sampling events managed by 10 promotional Market Managers and executed by over 1,000 Next Level promotional models, supported by a highly specialized 12 person headquarters team based in Westport, CT. 


Mike is widely recognized as a passionate champion of the beverage industry with an extensive marketing background that includes brand management positions with Tetley Tea, Kraft General Foods and Campbell Soup Company. He joined the spirits industry in 1992 with Heublein (now Diageo), as Brand Manager for Jose Cuervo Tequila. He successfully managed the launch of Jose Cuervo Margaritas which earned Mike the AMA’s 1992 Edison Award for best new product. Mike was promoted to Category Manager of Imported Spirits, where he managed three brands, including Finlandia Vodka. He reversed volume declines on Finlandia, helping to make Finlandia the World’s Fastest Growing Spirit for 1995. 


Mike joined Allied Domecq in 1996 as Global Marketing Director for Sauza Tequila. His efforts helped reverse a negative volume trend on Sauza, helping to make Sauza the World’s Fastest Growing Spirit for 1997. In 1998, Mike led the development of Sauza’s award-winning U.S. ad campaign which drove double digit volume growth and helped Sauza earn the Fastest Growing Spirit Brand in the U.S. award from Adam’s Media and the 1999 Impact Hot Brand award.


Mike was promoted to Vice President of On-Premise Sales for Allied Domecq leading its award winning national accounts team and creating the renowned, 50-person First Choice team to manage the top 5,000 independent on-premise accounts. Mike’s leadership helped his team to be recognized by Cheers as the industry’s Best On-premise Supplier an unprecedented three years in a row.


Among his many accolades, Mike was named one of the country’s most prominent marketers by Adweek and selected as one of the Best and Brightest in Marketing by Reveries Magazine in 2005. He has served on the Cheers Editorial Advisory Board and Nightclub & Bar Advisory Board.   He is a contributing writer for both Cheers, Nightclub & Bar and Drinks magazines, and is the publisher of the Beverage Authority training and education newsletter.


Mike is one of the beverage alcohol industry’s most recognized and respected information authorities.   Mike is a regular feature speaker at many of the industry’s leading trade conferences including VIBE (Very Important Beverage Executives), Cheers, Nightclub & Bar, Cheers Beverage Conference, WSWA (Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association), The NRA Show (National Restaurant Association), The Flavors Conference, The U.S, Drinks Conference. In addition to his extensive international speaking engagements, Mike serves as a trusted and highly respected beverage consultant to the industry’s most prominent national chain operators such as Applebee’s, Marriott, Interstate Hotels, Ruby Tuesday, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, TGI Friday’s and Outback Steakhouse.     


Mike earned his undergraduate degree in business administration and his MBA in marketing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985 and 1987, respectively.

My Speakers Sessions

Wednesday, March 29

10:00am PDT