Acclaimed Marketing Veteran Succeeds Adrian Jones as Leader of Multi-Day Vacation Destination #BuiltForKids
Rex Jackson, an award-winning marketing and sales executive who helped lead LEGOLAND® Florida Resort from a single theme park into a multi-day vacation destination, has been named the resort’s general manager, UK parent company Merlin Entertainments Group announced today.
Jackson joined the resort in 2014 as vice president of marketing and sales and will begin his new role August 1, succeeding Adrian Jones. Jackson inherits responsibility for the day-to-day operation and strategic direction of the sprawling vacation resort, which has drawn millions of visitors from around the globe since it opened in 2011.
“Rex is keenly aware of what makes the LEGOLAND brand so special,” Jones said, “and what makes our resort so incredibly unique among vacation destinations. I look forward to watching it continue to grow under Rex’s vision and his commitment to success.”
During the largest period of growth and expansion in its history, LEGOLAND Florida Resort re-branded itself as “built for kids to take the lead” under Jackson’s direction, capitalizing on its unique position as a destination focused on the imagination and creativity of children in a region filled with some of the world’s most popular theme parks.
His accomplishments include a creative, kid-focused campaign for the 2015 debut of the 152-room LEGOLAND Hotel, dubbed the “Five Gazillion-Star Hotel,” and the addition, less than two years later, of the 166-room LEGOLAND Beach Retreat, a village-style site unique to the eight LEGOLAND resorts worldwide.
Jackson led the “Become the Ninja” marketing campaign for the theme park’s recent LEGO® NINJAGO® World expansion, oversaw the development of a free-to-play iOS and Android app called Quest to LEGOLAND, designed to entertain kids during family road trips to the resort, and helped secure strategic partnerships with businesses including Travelex and KIDZ BOP, the No. 1 music brand for kids.
During more than 13 years as a marketer, Jackson’s work has received numerous awards and accolades, including several Cannes Lions from the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France.
“Leading LEGOLAND Florida Resort is an awesome responsibility in every sense of the word,” Jackson said. “I’m extremely proud to have played a part in its success over these past several years and I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to continue working with the talented leaders of Polk County and the Central Florida tourism community to showcase what makes us the best vacation destination for kids, period.”
Jackson began his career as brand manager with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble and next spent several years with Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants as brand manager and marketing director of the popular Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant brands.