Last Run: Sergio Zyman

Fall Line

Former Coca-Cola executive

Sergio Zyman

is among the world's best-known marketers, master-minding campaigns such as "Coke Is It" and earning the nickname "Aya-Cola" for his brash style. Since Zyman left Coke in March 1998, he wrote a book (The End Of Marketing As We Know It, HarperCollins) and started his own marketing consulting firm. Zyman, who started skiing in 1989 and owns a home in Vail, Colo., is now helping a ski trade association produce a marketing plan to grow the sport.

Born July30, 1945 (age 54)

Yard Sale "I'm the guy responsible for the biggest flop in the history of marketing after the Edsel¿the launch of New Coke."

Fast Recovery "Yes, it infuriated the public, cost a ton of money and lasted only 77 days before we reintroduced Coca-Cola Classic. Still, New Coke was a success because it revitalized the brand and reattached the public to Coke."

One Goal "Marketing isn't a mystery. The sole purpose of marketing is to get more people to buy more of your product, more often, for more money." (To that end, Zyman was responsible for spiking the popular, feel-good "I'd like to teach the world to sing" Coke commercial because it wasn't selling soda.)

The First Time "When I was at Coke in Atlanta, everyone skied. But I hated snow. Then, I finally tried it in Vail. And I fell in love. Now I ski maybe 50 days a year."

Off-Target "The ski industry practices hope marketing. They put out their product and hope people will buy it. They give each other free skis and market to themselves. They fail to market to their target."

On-Target "They need to start managing it more like a business and less like a hobby. Go back to fundamental principles of commerce and tell people why they should buy equipment and a ski vacation."