Andrew Katz, CMO, Athletic Brewing Co.

Andrew Katz is the chief marketing officer at Athletic Brewing Company, America’s leading producer of non-alcoholic craft beer. Andrew oversees all marketing activities, including advertising and branding, communications, International, and eCommerce, focusing on driving brand awareness and sales of Athletic Brewing’s award-winning brews.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

As CMO, I lean on over two decades of experience as a blue-chip marketer and a deep understanding of consumer needs to develop and implement revenue-generating strategies.   I aim to accelerate consumer adoption of non-alcoholic beer while expanding Athletic Brewing’s household penetration.

Before joining Athletic Brewing as its first-ever CMO in 2021, I founded a fitness technology startup called Instructrr. I also successfully led brands and teams at PepsiCo, American Express, and The HEINEKEN Company, where I developed strategic plans to reboot Dos Equis advertising.

I graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a B.A. in political science and received my MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

Athletic Brewing is headquartered in Milford, Connecticut, and is a Certified B Corporation™. In 2022, Athletic was selected as one of Ad Age’s Top 20 Hottest Brands and ranked as the 26th fastest-growing private company in America by Inc. Magazine. Athletic was also named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential Companies.”

Q: Tell us a little about your approach to marketing.

At Athletic Brewing, our marketing all starts with our company mission.  We are incredibly focused on helping people live happier, healthier lives and improving communities and the environment.  

We reinforce this notion through all of our marketing touchpoints, whether at a sampling table at the end of a 5k road race or by telling the founding story of our company.

Q: How were your marketing changed over the past few years?

Since I arrived in 2021, we’ve rapidly expanded our retail footprint.  We’re now available for sale in all 50 states, with over 50,000 retail locations, including Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, and more.

Our marketing has evolved to help support this expansion.  While “active lifestyles” will always be at our core, we’re extending our presence in music and lifestyle.  We want the brand to be more accessible to everyone seeking to drink more mindfully.

Q: We’ve heard a lot about the rising role of A.I. in marketing in the past year. How much or how little are you using A.I. or automation in your marketing efforts?

We are using Generative AI for idea generation at this point.  Given copyright and ethical issues surrounding the technology, we are cautious about how we’re deploying it at this point.  That said, we will continue to “test and learn” as the technology evolves.

Q: In 2023, marketers have more channels to utilize than ever, from shoppable social to CTV to the traditional. Which channels are you using? Where are you seeing the most success?

We’re moving towards media channels that are measurable vs. those that are not.  We are constantly optimizing our marketing channels to optimize brand building and ROI.  We also continue to do things that don’t scale, like sampling.  I can tell you how excellent our NA beer is, but once you try it yourself, you’re more inclined to buy Athletic Brewing Co. products at retail, online, or at a bar or restaurant. 

Q: What challenges do you anticipate facing in 2024? How do you plan on meeting those challenges?

Our biggest opportunity is to maintain our growth trajectory in a category that’s added over 100 new entrants in this year alone.  We want to be the #1 NA beer in America by offering the best-tasting beers with the most variety, all while delivering against our mission.  We’ll use a diverse, omnichannel approach to both content and channels.

Q: What is something you’ve learned in your career that you would like to share with young SMB marketers entering the industry?

Start with the end in mind (easier said than done) and be comfortable taking a different path to get yourself there.  Had I not veered off the marketing path to embark on my entrepreneurial journey, I wouldn’t be in the role that I’m in now.  I strongly encourage you to listen to Andrew Huberman’s podcast on Growth Mindset.  It’s instrumental to continuing to grow and evolve in your career.