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261: Wines, Racing, and the Historic Partnership with Churchill Downs with Jackson Family Wines’ Bill O’Connor

Bill O'Connor, EVP and Chief Sales Officer at Jackson Family Wines

Bill O’Connor  is the Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at Jackson Family Wines. Based in Sonoma County, the heart of California’s wine country, the business is one of few family-owned and operated wineries of its kind. Founded in 1983, with a focus on artisanal and old wines with a distinct character and quality, their portfolio includes wines like Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Freemark Abbey, Murphy Goode, Stonestreet, among many others.

On the show, Alan and Bill talk about the historic partnership between Jackson Family Wines and the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, and what Bill makes about effective partnerships.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What it’s like being a family-owned winery
  • How to effectively handle partnerships
  • The importance of refining your customer’s experience

Key Highlights:

  • [02:00] Bill’s dream job
  • [03:30] The historic partnership with Churchill Downs
  • [04:36] Jackson Family Wines’ tie to racing
  • [11:50] Their wide variety of wine offerings
  • [14:02] How Bill thinks about partnerships
  • [16:06] Refining the customer experience 
  • [20:30] Bill’s advice for navigating new relationships
  • [23:15] A defining experience that made Bill who he is today 
  • [26:54] Bill’s advice for his younger self
  • [29:36] Bill’s recent impactful purchase
  • [31:05] The brands, companies, and causes Bill follows
  • [33:03] What Bill says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

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