With a background in political science and quantitative studies, Elena Klau has always had a fascination with being able to look at numbers and data sets in different ways, and find insights behind them.
However, she never knew that her talents could be used in the marketing or sponsorship space until a friend asked her to serve as a research analyst combing through legacy data. Now, her insights and intelligence have helped to win many of the industry’s most significant accounts in the last few years.
“I always call myself the queen of the nerds in the best way possible,” Klau said with a laugh. “That’s coming from a nerd myself!”
As senior vice president and group director of strategy, insights and performance at Momentum Worldwide, Klau has helped reinvent the agency’s research team, bringing her data-driven approach to the sponsorship space.
In the last three years, Momentum has won the accounts of United Airlines, Verizon and SAP, and the overall agency portfolio has grown by more than $3 billion in rights and sponsorship management. On a number of occasions, clients have cited Momentum’s strategic and analytic approach as specific reasons why they signed on with the agency — elements that Klau has helped bring to the table.
“For me, if I don’t see the data, I don’t believe it,” she said. “I’m always a really big skeptic on our team in the room with clients, and I think the fact that I’m asking those really hard questions and am just as hard on the spend as if it was my own dollar is something that is appreciated by C-suite executives.”
MOMENTUM WORLDWIDE | SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT,
GROUP DIRECTOR, STRATEGY, INSIGHTS AND PERFORMANCE
Where born: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Education: Dartmouth College (B.A., double major, government and studio art); George Washington University (M.A., political science); Columbia University (MBA, marketing research and statistics)
Family: Husband, Chad Silverman; child, Jaime Silverman (2)
What do you know now that you wish you’d known at age 20? That my first career and ideas for what I wanted to be when I grew up would not be my last; that every job is not just a job, but an ability to learn a skill set that can take you in different directions.
Profession other than your own you’d most like to attempt: Working at the CIA.
Cause supported: Work with the 4A’s program ReACT, which helps school-aged kids become exposed to our industry and prepare for a career in it.
Guilty pleasure: Reruns — particularly “Modern Family” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Person in the industry you’d most like to meet: Theo Epstein.
I'm one of the best I know at … : Connecting the “dots.”