How to get a job in sports marketing

Serena Williams of the U.S. poses with the Ion Tiriac's trophy after winning the Madrid Open final tennis match over Maria Sharapova of Russia in Madrid May 12, 2013. Credit: Reuters
Want to work behind the scenes with Serena Williams? Be prepared to pay your dues. Credit: Reuters

Thinking of a sports career off the field may evoke visions of “Jerry McGuire” and rubbing elbows with players in the locker room. But a career in sports marketing is not all about the glamour of the game. We tapped David Eisenberg, the senior manager of sports and entertainment marketing for American Express, for his tips on making it in (and on) the field. Besides getting a degree in the field and networking as often as possible, here’s what else he recommends:

Explore all sides of the business

Going into sports marketing doesn’t always translate to repping your favorite team. You can work on a brand, like American Express, a property (like the United States Golf Assocation, for example), or an ad agency. “I’ve worked at an agency and a brand, and that’s been a wonderful experience because I’ve learned so many different things from so many different angles,” Eisenberg says. “Think: ‘What area do I feel like would give me the most opportunity to learn as much as I can, have a lot of fun and be really engaged in my career?’”

Remember who you serve

As much as everyone loves the game, at the end of the day, it’s the fans who marketers are ultimately trying to reach – they’re the ones who are opening their wallets. “We’re very focused on really creating those lasting memories for the cardmember [and] at the same time exposing prospective cardmembers to the benefits,” he says.

Realize that it’s not all about the glitz

Though he gets to oversee events, Eisenberg also says desk time is a big part of the job. “The glitz is the glitz only if somebody needs it or wants it,” he says. “[We’re] more focused on, ‘How do we create scalable experiences for lots of people to take advantage of?’ And if that means it is more focused on service, which may just be getting a lesson, versus getting the opportunity to meet a famous golfer, we want to make sure that we’re able to reach as many people as we can, with the benefit that’s gonna make the biggest impact. If it’s glitzy, great. If it’s not, that’s OK, because the important thing is it may give us the scale and it may also give us the opportunity to really build a meaningful relationship.”

Three skills you need

Natural curiosity: “If you’re naturally curious, you’re gonna want to always be exploring the next evolution, thinking about innovative opportunities that exist,” says Eisenberg.

Courage: “[If] you think there’s something really there, you’ve done your homework, you understand what the opportunity is, [have] courage for what you believe in.”

Conviction: “Conviction in your own ideas and the hard work to achieve them are some of the most important qualities to have in your career,” he says. “Conviction and hard work will humble you when you see it, and inspire others to emulate it when you demonstrate it. And the best thing about conviction when it comes to sports marketing for me, is that I’m passionate about my work, so really there is nothing ‘hard’ about it.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.