Brand Partnerships Director

Lightbulb Icon
Person Icon
Thumbs Up Icon
Related roles: Brand Partnerships Manager, Brand Integration Director, Strategic Partnerships Director, Partnership Development Director, Business Development Director, Brand Alliances Director, Sponsorship Director, Brand Collaboration Director, Marketing Partnerships Director, Brand Engagement Director


Similar Titles

Brand Partnerships Manager, Brand Integration Director, Strategic Partnerships Director, Partnership Development Director, Business Development Director, Brand Alliances Director, Sponsorship Director, Brand Collaboration Director, Marketing Partnerships Director, Brand Engagement Director

Job Description

What’s more fun than buying something from your favorite brand? Buying something from two of your favorite brands—at the same time! Brands team up for all sorts of collaborations these days. It’s one of the fastest ways to expand a potential consumer base and enhance existing products or services. 

From Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos to the dynamic duo of Nike and Apple, successful brand partnerships can ignite sales like nothing else. But it takes savvy business leaders and marketers to figure out which collabs will work…and which could epically backfire (we’re looking at you Forever 21 and Atkins!). 

A seasoned Brand Partnerships Director knows how to develop strategic business agreements that will profit and enhance both brands, potentially for many years! They’re in charge of the departments and processes that find and negotiate such lucrative deals, then market the finished goods. Depending on the size of the company, they may be very hands-on or might delegate most tasks to other team members. 

Rewarding Aspects of Career
  • Discovering exciting new brand relationships  
  • Introducing dual-branded products and services to the market
  • Spurring economic growth, thus helping to ensure employment opportunities
The Inside Scoop
Job Responsibilities

Working Schedule

  • Brand Partnerships Directors work full-time. Their duties involve overtime for travel and meetings with potential brand partners and marketing teams. 

Typical Duties

  • Thoroughly understand the company’s current range of products and services
  • Oversee research and marketing departments responsible for brand collaborations
  • Build a pipeline of new partners, including branded content and deals with YouTubers and social media influencers 
  • Do market research into customer bases, including niche markets
  • Cultivate limited or long-term strategic relationships with other brands
  • Nurture existing brand partner relationships and mitigate or resolve conflicts 
  • Propose creative upsells and terms to renew existing partnerships that are working
  • Attend design and marketing concept presentations and proposals for dual-branded products and services
  • Approve pitch desks meant for external audiences (i.e. brand partners)
  • Establish quarterly and annual revenue goals and help ensure they are met
  • Review sales figures and offer ideas for maximizing profits and growing revenue
  • Lead the implementation of feasible business solutions when problems arise
  • Provide status updates to company leadership on new products/services 
  • Use customer relationship management systems, as needed

Additional Responsibilities

  • Approve copy for press releases. Discuss updates with media via interviews 
  • Help to educate consumers on new product/service features and capabilities
  • Attend industry trade shows and read industry-related news
  • Stay up to date on the latest in branding and marketing
Skills Needed on the Job

Soft Skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Energy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Goal setting
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Networking
  • Organized
  • Persuasive 
  • Proactive
  • Problem-solving
  • Prospecting
  • Quality assurance
  • Relationship building
  • Resourcefulness 
  • Strong communication skills 
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Technical Skills

  • Management skills 
  • Business, marketing, and sales acumen
  • Knowledge of direct sales and social media 
  • Deep familiarity with the specific industries involved
  • Familiarity with intellectual property rights and legal agreements 
  • Knowledge of social trends
Different Types of Organizations
  • Companies and corporations which sell products or services to the public
Expectations and Sacrifices

There’s no magic crystal ball that marketers use to predict what will be popular or not. However, there is market research, which is increasingly sophisticated thanks to digital tools and the vast amount of big data available. Brand Partnership Directors must understand and use all available resources to determine which companies they should cozy up with. Fortunes can be made—or lost—from a single alliance. 

When energy drink maker Red Bull teamed up with mini action camera company GoPro, both sides won big (Red Bull reportedly raked in “hundreds of millions of US dollars in revenues” in the first six months of the partnership, while GoPro “generated US$32.26 million in profit by the end of that year.” The two brands complimented each other perfectly, with both appealing to many of the same target consumers. 

However, some deals fall apart due to unforeseen circumstances, such as LEGO’s decades-long collab with Shell which collapsed after Greenpeace protested the gas giant’s Arctic drilling plans. Brand Partnership Directors have to think several steps ahead to anticipate a possible backlash from the public, especially in an increasingly politicized market environment where consumers demand social and environmental responsibility from the brands they buy from.

Current Trends

Consumers have always been finicky, but in today’s era of digital connectedness, news travels faster than ever. A single miscalculation can make or break a company virtually overnight, which is why brands go to such great pains to understand their target buyers and try to cater to them. 

But when a brand partners up with another brand, it can’t really control its partner’s actions. Thus, both brands assume a tremendous reputational risk when they collaborate, because any poor public perception of one can tarnish the rep of both. 

As mentioned above, brands are keenly aware of how the public grades them based on social and environmental actions. A positive example from 2021 is Budweiser’s decision to skip paying millions for a Super Bowl ad and reallocate the funds “to a purpose-driven effort” in support of COVID-19 vaccine awareness (through a partnership with the Red Cross and Ad Council).

What kinds of things did people in this career enjoy doing when they were younger…

Future Brand Partnership Directors may have loved graphic design and social media when they were younger—and probably always will! They might have also been in awe of great commercials and marketing campaigns that inspired them to get into the business. 

While most consumers probably don’t think much about the “behind-the-scenes” of brands and branding efforts, the people who get into this field often paid attention to such details, reading news about lucrative deals between brands. 

They might have also been film, music, or sports fans intrigued by the amounts of money that celebrities haul in through brand endorsement collabs and investments (such as tennis star Serena Williams’ ambassadorship deal with Tonal at-home gym equipment maker).

Education and Training Needed
  • Brand Partnership Directors usually have a bachelor’s in a field such as marketing, advertising, business, public relations, or communications
  • Many hold MBAs with a specialization in marketing 
  • Since there is no single degree that applies to brand partnerships, graduates can augment their undergrad coursework with certificates
    • For example, if you majored in business but didn’t take enough marketing classes, you could earn a certificate in marketing…or vice versa
    • You can also take self-study ad hoc courses such as Udemy’s The Complete Guide to B2B Partnerships Masterclass. However, these will not have the same clout with employers as attending a college course
  • Real-world industry experience is key for reaching such high-level positions. Most directors start out in entry-level sales or marketing positions or as interns
  • In addition to marketing prowess, they should develop strong business management skills through their formal education and honed through real-world work experience
  • Courses in design, social media, social trends, intellectual property rights, and legal agreements can help round out the academics
Things to look for in an University
  • Look for schools that can boast of prominent alumni in the business world
  • Decide if you’ll attend a traditional on-campus program, online, or hybrid (a mix of both)
  • Consider and compare costs of tuition, room and board, and scholarship opportunities
  • Look into federal financial aid for students to see what you qualify for
Things to do in High School and College
  • First, learn all you can about the industry you want to start in. Brand Partnership Directors must understand their own business before they can assess the right collaborations with other businesses 
  • In high school, future Brand Partnership Directors should take plenty of business, marketing, math, and design classes
  • In college, whatever your major is, make sure it is rounded out enough through electives to develop: management skills; creative design skills; business, marketing, and sales acumen; knowledge of social media and associated trends; familiarity with intellectual property rights and legal agreements; and familiarity with current social and environmental issues 
  • Volunteer for school activities where you can practice soft skills, including written and verbal communication skills, leadership, project management, and presentation 
  • Apply for part-time sales or marketing jobs to get some real-world experience
  • Ask working Brand Partnership team members if you can do an informational interview to learn about their day-to-day work
  • After finishing your bachelor’s, earn a certificate that can bolster your college major (unless you plan on jumping into a master’s)
  • Take some self-study ad hoc courses such as Udemy’s The Complete Guide to B2B Partnerships Masterclass to learn the basics. These won’t count for college credit, but can still help you learn more about the work
  • Keep a draft resume that you can add to as you gain experience
Typical Roadmap
Brand Partnerships Gladeo Roadmap
How to Land your 1st job


  • Brand Partnership Directors don’t start at the top. They have to work their way up from other positions, often in the sales and marketing departments
    • Some may spend years with an employer before getting promoted to a director role
  • Consider starting out with a smaller company before shooting for a major one
  • Set up notification alerts on and other job portals to get alerted when marketing-related jobs and internships come up
  • Internships are a common way to get started. You’ll gain practical work experience while getting exposure to the business    
  • Attend marketing conferences and events where industry representatives will be present
  • Keep in touch with your old teachers and supervisors who can serve as references
  • Check out Brand Partnership Director resume templates and sample Brand Partnership Director interview questions 
  • Make sure your resume is error-free, engaging, and filled with stats and impact
  • Be familiar with the company you’re interviewing with. Study their products or services, look at their history, values, and mission, read the bios of their leadership, and be ready to explain how you see yourself fitting in and contributing
  • Apply your marketing skills to yourself. Think about what you can do to convey the image of success during interviews
    • Let your enthusiasm for your particular industry shine and have a few partnership ideas in mind in case you get asked. You don’t want to be put on the spot and have nothing!
How to Climb the Ladder
  • The best way to move up is to earn the company revenue! 
  • Do your current job to the best of your ability and always demonstrate accountability and responsibility in leadership positions 
  • Build your reputation as a forward-thinking, results-driven marketing professional who is motivated and dependable 
  • Ensure your work aligns with the company’s values and progresses its vision and mission
  • Forge strong, creative, lucrative relationships with brand partners 
  • Stay engaged with social trends and technological developments 
  • Always keep learning by reading books and articles, talking with peers, and taking classes to keep current skills sharp and to develop new ones
    • If you don’t already have one, consider doing an MBA or other master’s, or complete some advanced certifications
  • Mentor new managers and supervisors. Help them understand the brand’s short- and long-term business goals 
  • Stay engaged with industry-related organizations like the American Marketing Association by attending conferences and events, giving talks, writing articles, and building your social capital
Plan B

In a world where companies like Apple and Microsoft can exist with market caps of over $2 trillion each, it’s easy to see why branding and marketing are so important. That’s why there are dozens of unique career paths within the field, other than managing brand partnerships. Below are just a few of the fast-paced, exciting options for you to explore: 

  • Brand Marketing Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Consumer Researcher
  • Content Marketing Director
  • Corporate Communications Director
  • Demand Generation Manager
  • Director of Digital Marketing
  • Director of Email Marketing
  • Field Merchandiser
  • Licensing Representative
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Marketing Research Director
  • Product Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Website Marketing Manager


Online Courses and Tools