Spotlighting One of Breakthru Illinois’ Most Versatile (and Valuable) Players: Jamin McGinnis

Oct. 25, 2018


In baseball, it’s crucial to have at least one utility player ready to contribute to multiple positions on the field. 

Translate that to the world of beverage alcohol, and you have Jamin McGinnis, Strategic Segments Marketing Manager (multicultural-focused role) for Breakthru Beverage IL’s United Division.

In McGinnis’ case, “utility player” means he serves as a liaison between supplier partner Diageo and the Breakthru IL United Division sales and trade development teams to execute sales and marketing strategies. 

His specific focus is on programming geared around underrepresented customers and consumers, including African Americans, Latin Americans and the LGBTQ community. McGinnis’ work is driven by his deep knowledge of these audiences, along with his extensive experience representing brands that resonate with a variety of consumer bases. 

This vast knowledge of Breakthru’s customer and consumer behavior stems from McGinnis’ years of experience in various roles leading up to this current one. He joined Wirtz Beverage (now Breakthru) in November 2011 as merchandiser for the corporate chain division. Then he was promoted to a Sales Consultant for the United Division sales team, and then served as the CÎROC Trade Ambassador for the Chicago metro area. 

So, what does a typical day in the life for McGinnis look like now?

Consider the utility player: it depends on the game. For McGinnis, it varies from week to week.

He plans and executes special events to launch innovation brands; works with vendors to ensure the sales teams have all their POS (point of sale) needs met for an off-premise account; partners with sales reps to create cocktail menus; and reports back to Diageo on the various category and brand trends he sees in the field. 

Along with special events to support launches of innovations, like the upcoming launch of CÎROC’s limited Black Raspberry edition, McGinnis also supports a different aspect of Breakthru’s objectives and core values – giving back to our local communities. In Illinois, Breakthru has longstanding partnerships with organizations such as Meals on Wheels Chicago, Equality Illinois, and BUILD Chicago, to name only a few. 

McGinnis has played an integral role in supporting another charity partner, Upwardly Global, for several years. Three years ago, Upwardly Global approached the United Division sales team, along with Diageo, to participate in their annual “Passports to Possibilities” gala – an ideal event for McGinnis, as Upwardly Global’s mission is to assist job seekers from 100-plus countries with career development and job placement. 

As with other multicultural events, McGinnis leads the planning and execution, including selecting the featured cocktails. For this year’s gala, which took place in early October, McGinnis created two cocktails — a CÎROC Sidecar, featuring the new CÎROC VS Brandy, and a Don Julio Paloma — a winning combination of a new-to-market brand with a recognizable tequila brand. 

It’s a perfect example of McGinnis’ constant eye for achieving multiple goals with one task. Here, he considered Diageo’s brand team strategies alongside sales and trade objectives, creating drinks that would also resonate with the crowd at this event. 

And based on the long lines for the cocktails that night, he clearly knocked it out of the park. 

Want to learn more about roles like McGinnis’? Explore Breakthru’s “A Day in the Life” series, as well as our current career opportunities

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