Lee Applbaum

Global Chief Marketing Officer
Patrón Spirits

There is no question that Lee Applbaum is a brilliant marketer and smart global thinker.  His work at Patrón Spirits—in a very short time—has made a significant difference to the brand.  However, he also possesses the rare foresight to anticipate what will become a 21st century brand paradox as marketers juggle with authenticity and the need for scale in a new, instantly-global social media world. He, though, is finding an answer with a brand that manages to effectively straddle both ends of this contemporary spectrum.  He also discovered a way to effectively unify the brand’s perception of both style and substance.

Lee Applbaum is responsible for leading Patrón Spirits’ luxury portfolio of brands. He directs all global integrated marketing efforts across creative, media, PR, product development and innovation, and experiential activation in over 100 countries. 

In fact, his digital storytelling, one of the pillars of his marketing strategy, has enabled significant discussion between consumers and the trade—and has developed a new level of brand trust in the process.  Through Applbaum’s direction, Patrón used digital reality in the launch of The Art of Patrón Virtual Reality Experience to allow consumers to virtually tour the Hacienda Patrón in Jalisco. He says it proved transformational for the brand.  He then used Oculus Rift technology to create a “live-action-with-drone” video that took viewers from the agave fields to the bottling process-- all from the perspective of the Patrón bee, now a recognized part of the brand’s logo.

Prior to Patrón, Mr. Applbaum led large marketing and sales organizations at Target Australia, RadioShack, David’s Bridal, and Footstar Athletic. He began his career at Coca-Cola, where he held a variety of marketing and management roles. Throughout his tenure, he led the development and execution of innovative branded programs across a range of global dining, hospitality, and retail clients. Mr. Applbaum holds a B.B.A. in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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