After seven years with Speedway, Ian Cavanaugh became part of the 7-Eleven team this past fall on the heels of 7-Eleven’s acquisition of the Speedway chain from Marathon Petroleum. As category manager of lottery, he now oversees multiple lottery programs for nearly 13,000 convenience stores.

What’s new and exciting in your category?
Everything! Becoming a part of the 7-Eleven family following the acquisition of Speedway in 2021 has been exciting and has brought me many learning opportunities. The 7-Eleven and Speedway organizations really complement each other, geographically and in commitment to convenience and quality. So, to me, the joining of these two organizations creates new and exciting opportunities to bring both brands to a wider audience, and that is really changing the face of the convenience sector.

What do you love about your category?
I love getting to work with such an amazing group of lottery vendor partners. I have been lucky enough to have created some really great partnerships over the last couple of years and enjoy working together to grow our mutual businesses.

What is the biggest frustration?
It’s not so much a frustration as it is a challenge to maximize the benefits of our scale. With as many states and as many stores as we operate in, having enough lead time to capitalize on upcoming promotions and initiatives has an impact on their success. With access to new systems and efficiencies, I expect we are going to be able to communicate and execute more effectively.

How did the pandemic change your category?
It changed a lot in terms of consumer patterns and demands, as well as in supply chain and logistics. But what it really did was reinforce just how important the employees of our stores and franchisees are. They have done an amazing job making sure we can still offer the products and services that our customers want.

What trends are you watching?
We are always learning from our lottery vendor partners. They have done an extraordinary job sharing their best practices and trends in ways that help improve our business.

What products performed well in the past year?
We have been able roll out new products and offers while continuing to offer the same great products and services that our customers have come to want and expect. Folks in the stores are amazing and deserve all the credit for helping maintain strong lottery performance this past year despite significant challenges created by the pandemic.

What are the biggest challenges?
With a footprint as large as ours, we have the scale, resources and brand values to do some exciting things to bring in new customers and strengthen loyalty with existing customers. My goal is to see that we make the time to roll out promotions and initiatives in the most effective manner.