×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wheelhouse Group Taps Diageo Marketing Executive Dan Sanborn to Lead Wheelhouse Labs

Dan Sanborn, a longtime marketing executive at beverage company Diageo, has been tapped as president of Wheelhouse Labs, a new unit under Wheelhouse Group that will seek to pair advertisers with content creators at a time when the media and marketing industries are placing greater reliance on so-called “branded contnent.”

Sanborn will lead and launch the new Wheelhouse Labs and serve as chief marketing officer of Wheelhouse Group. He reports to Brent Montgomery, the one-time unscripted series producer who is CEO of the company. Wheelhouse was launched in 2018 and counts ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel as a partner in the venture. Sanborn had been senior vice president of culture and partnerships at Diageo, and the company is expected to continue working with him in his new role.

Wheelhouse has made a minority investment in JonesWorks, a public relations, marketing and communications agency led by Stephanie Jones, who is also Wheelhouse’s chief branding officer. The two companies are expected to work together on various initiatives, leveraging the latter concern’s talent roster and 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; Rhone;  and Happy Family Organics, among others.

Under Sanborn’s direction, Wheelhouse Labs is expected to serve as an “idea laboratory,” an in-house creative agency servicing Wheelhouse’s growing roster of brands and investments, productions and pioneering partnerships – including content and development company Kimmelot, launched last fall by Wheelhouse and Kimmel.

“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.”

Sanborn is known in advertising circles for pushing Diageo to partner with entertainment properties, such as the Paramount series “Bar Rescue” or a marketing team up between Diageo’s scotch portfolio and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

“The truth is that as I began to understand the ambition for Wheelhouse and the breadth of talent Brent and Jimmy were bringing in, I recognized this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to design some new and unique creative collaborations,” said Sanborn in a statement. ” I’m excited for this next chapter with Wheelhouse Labs and to get to continue working with Diageo in this new capacity.”

“Dan and his team have become an important part of Diageo’s approach to culture and entertainment marketing and we are eager to continue collaborating with him, and the entire team at Wheelhouse,” said Ed Pilkington, chief marketing officer for Diageo’s North America operations, in a statement.

Sanborn will work closely with Ed Simpson, chief strategy officer of Wheelhouse Group, and Sean Cohan, president of Wheelhouse Entertainment and chief business officer for Wheelhouse Group.

More TV

  • Al Burton

    Al Burton, 'Jeffersons' and 'Diff’rent Strokes' Producer, Dies at 91

    Television producer and executive Al Burton, known for his work on “The Jeffersons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Tuesday at his home in San Mateo, California. He was 91. Burton leaves behind a six-decade legacy of hit television shows that also included “One Day at a Time,” “Silver Spoons,” “Square Pegs” and “Facts of Life.” However, long [...]

  • Dwyane Wade Sets Multi-Year Development Deal

    Dwyane Wade Sets Multi-Year Development Deal at WarnerMedia

    Dwayne Wade is bouncing his way into WarnerMedia’s court. The retired NBA All Star has signed a multi-faceted, multi-year deal with the company, including a development deal via his 59th & Prairie Entertainment production banner. Part of the deal sees Wade sign on as a commentator at Turner Sports. He is set to make appearances [...]

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • EVIL is a psychological mystery that

    CBS Renews 'Evil,' Orders Full Seasons of Four Other Freshman Shows

    CBS is doubling down on all its new shows. The network has renewed “Evil” for a second season, and handed out full-season orders to its other four freshman series, namely “All Rise,” “Carol’s Second Act,” “The Unicorn,” and “Bob Hearts Abishola.” “Evil” is set to conclude its 13-episode first season (creators Michelle and Robert King [...]

  • Jamie Lee Curtis

    Jamie Lee Curtis to Produce Military Drama With Put Pilot Order at Fox

    Jamie Lee Curtis is teaming up with April Fitzsimmons and Berlanti Productions for a drama project that has received a put pilot order at Fox. Titled “Chain of Command,” the one-hour project follows a young Air Force investigator with radical crime-solving methodology who returns to her hometown to join a military task force that doesn’t [...]

  • Michael MannLACMA: Art and Film Gala,

    TV News Roundup: Michael Mann to Direct and Executive Produce HBO Max's 'Tokyo Vice'

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO Max names MIchael Mann as a director and executive producer of “Tokyo Vice” and Chip and Joanna Gaines announce the first original series coming to the couple’s Magnolia Network. DATES Netflix announced a six-episode docuseries centered on Nasty Cherry, the latest all-female group signed to Charli XCX’s label will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content