– Elena Sotomayor
Executive Vice President, Cárdenas Marketing Network, Henry Agency
Elena Sotomayor and Cárdenas Marketing Network’s brand partnerships team have had to adapt their approach in the past several years, but now, in addition to promoting major artists like Bad Bunny, Marc Anthony, Nicky Jam, Becky G, Daddy Yankee, Maluma and Banda MS, CMN is working with brands including Advanced Auto Parts, Spectrum, Corona, Forbes Foundation and Miami Marlins.
Despite previous challenges, partnership revenue in 2019 went up 70 percent compared to 2018, and, prior to the recent upheavals caused by COVID-19, Sotomayor said she saw more opportunities in connecting brands to live events through the digital space.
“There had been a decline over the past four years with these partnerships due to a digital shift in the market,” Sotomayor told Pollstar. “The challenge was to keep everyone on board and to keep them busy, but most importantly, navigate and strategize on getting [a big client] back. We used our music platforms creatively to help us come back and my team was tasked with replicating what we have done for the last 10 years. It was a roller coaster to say the least.”
When asked about her experience in the music industry, she said it’s “all about long hours, being on the road often, long days, so it’s important to have a supportive tribe around you at all times, whether it’s at work or home.”
She recommends younger generations of women be persistent and learn every aspect of the business, take advantage of every opportunity to gain experience and seek out the people they consider the best.
Sotomayor names her mother and her significant other and boss for 25 years, Henry Cárdenas, as two role models in her life. Of Cárdenas, she said “He has taught me everything about persistence, focus, serious discipline, consistency and having a relentless attitude.”
Of her mother, she said, “She’s the strongest woman I know on this earth. She has taught me that you have to keep going forward and upward no matter what. … She is my rock and backbone.”