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Booking.com’s Arjan Dijk on how brands can’t ignore sports if they want to be part of the zeitgeist

The Current Podcast, Season 8: Arjan Dijk, CMO, Booking.com

Sports and travel often go hand in hand, so Booking.com seems like a brand that would naturally be at that intersection.

But more than that, Booking.com’s Chief Marketing Officer, Arjan Dijk, tells The Current Podcast that all brands should capitalize on the popularity of sports if they want to be part of the zeitgeist. Looking at everything from monster NFL ratings to the rise of niche sports like pickleball, it’s a hard sentiment to deny.

“I do think as a brand that it’s incredibly important that you’re part of the zeitgeist,” Dijk says. “And if you look at where people are spending their time and where their passions lie, sports play a huge role […] If you want to reach a mass audience that is very much engaged in an area that is part of the zeitgeist, you cannot ignore sports anymore.”

Also in the episode, Dijk touches on how Booking.com has tackled a post-pandemic boom in travel; how data is crucial for implementing an omnichannel strategy (he says his global marketing team is 30 percent “hardcore data scientists”); and how Generative AI could make marketing more productive.