Smashburger names senior v.p. of marketing

by Bryan Salvage
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DENVER — Smashburger has appointed John Harris as senior vice-president of marketing. Since the company continues growing rapidly, having sold franchise and joint venture agreements to open more than 350 locations over the next five years, Mr. Harris will play an integral role in guiding Smashburger growth.

As an industry-leading integrated marketer, Mr. Harris has launched, grown and optimized some of the most renowned consumer brands across all media platforms, including advertising, promotions, public relations, social media and digital marketing, according to Smashburger.

He has 20 years of experience leading brand strategy and marketing communications for restaurant, beverage and packaged goods companies on a local, national and global level. Mr. Harris previously served as president of TBWA’s Karsh\Hagan Advertising in Denver, developing marketing campaigns for McDonald’s, Fresh Gourmet, American Crew and TD Ameritrade. As senior vice-president of The Integer Group, one of the world’s largest retail marketing agencies, Mr. Harris led the brand and retail marketing efforts for Coors Brewing Company, the customer marketing teams for Procter & Gamble, and launched Integer’s digital marketing practice.

“John’s industry knowledge will support Smashburger’s exponential growth and our goal of becoming every city’s favorite place for burgers,” said David Prokupek, Smashburger chairman and chief executive officer. “John’s expertise will continue to build our brand as we spread our concept across the country through traditional marketing initiatives as well as nontraditional methods such as social media and mobile technologies.”

“Smashburger is a relatively young restaurant, but is growing at an accelerated rate,” Mr. Harris said. “I look forward to providing guidance and strategic direction for Smashburger as we mature and become one of America’s favorite new brands.”

Denver-based Smashburger is a fast-casual restaurant developed and owned by private-equity and concept-development firm Consumer Capital Partners. The company has sold franchise agreements that will total more than 275 locations over the next five years. The corporate, joint venture, and franchise development deals are part of Smashburger’s plan to open 500-plus restaurants across the country, 100-125 stores will be open nationwide by the end of 2010.
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