Tough Mudder has appointed Carol Kruse as global chief marketing officer, effective immediately. An experienced executive, Kruse has spent time leading some of the most recognized and respected global consumer brands during times of expansive growth, including ESPN and Coca-Cola. This is the latest in a series of high-profile appointments for the leading edge events company as it continues to expand globally and increase its bench of top talent.


“Carol’s pioneering leadership and breakthroughs in the digital industry and her tribe-building expertise will be invaluable as we continue building Tough Mudder into a global lifestyle brand that sets the standard with a new generation,” said Will Dean, CEO and co-founder of Tough Mudder.



As senior vice president and chief marketing officer at ESPN, Kruse was responsible for all aspects of the development, management and global expansion of the ESPN brand, including the marketing of ESPN’s six television networks and an extensive array of digital, mobile, radio, print and social products. Kruse managed a team of world-class marketers to deliver all cross-platform media plans and creative. She oversaw iconic work including the “This Is Sports Center” and “It's not Crazy It's Sports” campaigns, which were recognized through the Sports Emmys and Cannes Lions, among other accolades.



“I am honored to join the Tough Mudder team, and I look forward to helping to guide the brand through what will be explosive global growth,” said Kruse. “With more than a million ardent and brand-defining participants, events on three continents, and over $6.5 million raised for Wounded Warrior Project, the company is a next generation leader in what it means to be a global citizen-being fit, overcoming obstacles through teamwork, helping others and striving to achieve all you can.”



Prior to ESPN, Kruse spent over nine years leading Interactive Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, including more than three years serving as the global vice president of Digital. Earlier in her career, Kruse spent seven years in senior management/marketing roles at three Silicon Valley start-ups, one of which was acquired by Coca-Cola.



Kruse received her M.B.A. with honors from The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and holds a B.A. in International Relations from Pomona College. Recent accolades include receiving the 27th spot on Fast Company’s “2011 Top 100 Most Creative People in Business” list, winning the annual ad:tech Industry Achievement Award, and being named a Media Post All Star. Carol is currently the New York Chapter President of the CMO Club.



Tough Mudder LLC was founded in 2010 by Will Dean and Guy Livingstone. Considered “Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet,” each Tough Mudder endurance challenge tests participants’ toughness, fitness, strength, stamina, mental grit and teamwork. This year, Tough Mudder hosted 53 events, including international events in the U.K., Canada, Australia and Germany. In 2014, Tough Mudder will host more than 60 events in countries worldwide. For the schedule of event dates and locations, visit