How this Senior Director Brings McDonald’s to Big Cultural Moments
February 10, 2022
McDonald’s Senior Director of Global Strategic Alliances Jennifer DelVecchio is basically Wonder Woman – but we’ll get that to that in a minute.
Every day, Jennifer is thinking about our customers – including how she and her team can connect with people around the world, and the role McDonald’s can play in big cultural moments. Currently, she and her team are busy preparing for McDonald’s sponsorship of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament.
So, how did Jennifer get here? It all starts with a love of sport.
Turning Her Passions into a Career
A proud Canadian, Jennifer grew up in small, rural farming community in Southern Ontario. Her Italian immigrant parents nurtured her childhood love of all things sport and encouraged her to compete.
Like her father, who started playing to assimilate into Canadian culture, Jennifer developed a love for hockey. “There weren’t enough girls playing hockey to form an all-girls team,” she says, so she played on boys’ teams. When she wasn’t playing hockey, she was playing soccer – and her skills on the pitch eventually led to a university-level soccer scholarship.
At university, Jennifer specialized in business administration. After graduation, she accepted a job at a global talent agency representing high-profile athletes.
“I was working with some of the top athletes in hockey and golf,” she says. “It was an incredible introduction to the world of sports business.”
A few years later, Jennifer accepted a role at an advertising agency. Eventually, she landed at a large beverage corporation leading sports and entertainment partnerships and campaigns. This led to what Jennifer calls a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:” developing the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy tour.
“We championed women and held them up as the heroes they are,” Jennifer says. “It was one of the proudest accomplishments of my career.”
Jennifer had other adventures during this time – from a global campaign featuring two of the world’s most popular basketball players, to visiting polar bears in the Canadian Arctic for a climate change initiative, to leading a global campaign with a Wonder Woman actress. That particular campaign involved wearing her executive hat while serving as a temporary stand-in during a press event.
“Being a working mother and busy marketing executive, people joked that I was basically Wonder Woman,” she says. “Aren’t we all?”
During her time in Toronto, she also met her husband, Marc. Jennifer and her husband’s jobs were based in different cities; she lived in Toronto and then Atlanta with their two daughters, and he lived in Washington D.C., followed by Philadelphia. “Where I have been has always been home base, where the kids are in school,” Jennifer says. “There was a lot of sacrifice for all of us, but we made it work.”
In 2020, Marc and Jennifer moved under the same roof in Atlanta. “The pandemic reinforced what was most important to us,” Jennifer says.
When Marc accepted a job in Chicago, the whole family relocated to the Windy City. A life-long brand fan, Jennifer set her sights on a career at McDonald’s. Now, after raising a family across five cities in seven years, she and her family proudly call Chicago home.
Jennifer was recently named one of Canada’s “5 to Watch,” an award recognizing top Canadian-born executives in under the age of 40.
“Managing two busy careers and two busy daughters – everyone needs to be on the same page. Marc is my biggest supporter, and our girls have been incredibly resilient. I hope Mom makes them proud,” she says.
Shaping McDonald’s Global Brand Identity
In her current role at McDonald’s, Jennifer oversees the brand’s global sport and entertainment alliances and campaigns, as well as McDonald’s global brand identity. She loves being able to leverage the iconicity and scale of McDonald’s to emotionally connect with our customers and participate in meaningful conversations. In her words, she “flexes the global muscle of the McDonald’s brand.”
Jennifer credits the humility and hard work of her parents for helping her achieve success in her career.
"I was raised to be a global citizen,” she says. “I had no idea where my life would take me at age 17, but I love where I've landed.”