“My life has changed completely because of two things: sports and education,” Fabio Tambosi says, reflecting on his move from Brazil to the U.S., the loss of his soccer dream and finding his place as a marketing leader in a global industry.
As a young Brazilian, Tambosi was dedicated to soccer. His love for the sport led him to the Clemson Men’s Soccer team, where he worked hard to perform despite “not [being] the biggest and strongest player on the field.” Between practices, Tambosi was working on his English fluency and pushing himself academically in his communication studies major.
He graduated in three and a half years in preparation for the Major League Soccer Super Draft. “I simply didn’t make it,” Tambosi says. “It was really tough because my whole world just collapsed, and I had to figure out what I wanted to do.”
After a period of odd jobs and a position at IBM, Tambosi became a senior manager of product marketing at Nokia. But it wasn’t until the 2014 FIFA World Cup that he found his passion in sports marketing — when he led Nike’s brand marketing for Brazil during the mega soccer tournament.
Tambosi moved to Portland, Oregon, following the World Cup to work with Nike Women’s, which eventually led him to a position as the head of brand communications at adidas. And since April, he’s been serving as the chief marketing officer at Saucony, one of the world’s oldest running shoe companies.
“I always say there is a moment, there is a job, there is a city for every moment of your life,” Tambosi says. “There’s no other place that I want to be right now than where I am.”
At Saucony, Tambosi leads marketing teams in Italy, London and Boston; their job is to move the brand forward with the same authenticity and passion for running that led to the company’s launch in 1898. Tambosi loves Saucony’s “fighting spirit” and its commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging.
“As a Brazilian father of a daughter and newborn son, I want people of all backgrounds to see themselves represented as protagonists in our campaigns.,” Tambosi says, explaining how the brand can be a platform of transformation. “There are plenty of people who run who would never call themselves runners. Running is an activity. If you run, we’re committed to helping you find the joy in it.”