Excellent Article For Recent Grads Looking To Get Into Sports Marketing

So my computer when nuts this weekend so I did not get a chance to show you guys this great article I found on the Sports Networker.

Its some great tips for sports marketing grads

Check it out here!

7 Tips for New Sports Marketing Grads

by|May 31st, 2012

New sports marketing grads, congratulations. You will soon be receiving a degree that signifies the years of hard work that you have spent learning and mastering your craft. Unfortunately, that piece of paper alone is not going to get you to where you want to be. The sports business is one of the most competitive industries to get into, but once you make it, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.

There is no one way to become an established member of the sports marketing field, but there are steps you can take to put yourself in the best position possible. Here are seven tips that I have learned in my academic and professional career that have helped me into the world of Sports Marketing.


Tips for New Sports Marketing Grads

1. Add value

Regardless of your occupation, you need to ask yourself “What can I do today to add value?” The ones who can add depth to the situation are the ones who will stand out in the eyes of the employer. Anyone can read the score at the bottom of the sports ticker, but you need to add more to the story and show that you can be a step ahead of everyone else. Read, understand, add.

2. Focus on marketing more than sports

While it is important to know the pulse of the sports industry, you would be doing yourself (and your marketing team) a disservice by only focusing on marketing practices from sports. Be mindful of news and studies from all industries and try to be the one who is able to bridge the information from other industries to the sports industry.

3. No research is wasted

Whether you are preparing for the job interview, preparing for a meeting with your company President, or preparing to make a pitch to an outside company, you can never do too much research. With how competitive the sports industry has become, it is blatantly obvious when someone has underprepared. There are 3 levels of readiness – not ready (no preparation), surviving (doing exactly what is asked of you) and succeeding (doing everything asked of you, and adding more.) The extra research will ensure that you are succeeding rather than surviving.

4. Expand your scope

You are only bound by your imagination and your willingness to work. There are many different positions in the sports marketing field and if you limit yourself to “I want to be in charge of marketing for a professional football team” chances are you will fall short. There are not only sports marketing opportunities with professional teams, you can look to obtain a position with an agency, brand, league, minor league team, media company, or a start-up to name a few different options.

5. Conduct informational interviews

I have found that informational interviews are the single most effective way to learn more about sports marketing professionals and what it takes to make it in the industry. With the endless resources available, including Twitter and LinkedIn, there is absolutely no excuse for not being able to find contact information to get you in touch with who you want to speak with. Be polite, soak up information like a sponge, and be sure to stay in touch with those that you interview.

6. Make mistakes

While you should always be striving for top-level work, you need to make mistakes in order to learn and improve. If you’re not embarrassed by work or assignments you did years ago, you probably haven’t evolved or developed much. Mistakes due to inexperience are ok; mistakes due to lack of effort, research, and not doing your homework are not ok.

7. Stand out

There are thousands of people that would do anything to get the job that you are applying for; you need to figure out a way to stand out. When a colleague of mine’s phone calls and emails to executives were ignored, he has been known to send 6-foot tall bananas to these executives with a note attached that says “call me.” As strange as that sounds, these are the things that will make a difference between getting the job and wishing there was something else you could have done.

There are many lucky individuals in the industry that have landed the sports marketing job of their dreams, but as you know, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Starting with these tips, you need to do everything you can to prepare yourself to enter this highly competitive (and highly rewarding) field. The truth is that the harder you work, the luckier you get.





Interview With Jake Samo

When I first started this blog, I promised some interviews with some influncial people in the sports industry. Specifically, I said I was going to interview my former boss Jake Samo who is the Assistant Director of Staduim Operations for the Iowa Cubs. 

Well I am very excited to let you all know that I just got done with the interview with Jake and wanted to put it up on the blog for all to see. I got alot of great information and advice from Jake. I hope that his advice can help many of the young people who are looking to get into sports.

Here is the interview.


1.       Can you just briefly describe your schooling and prior work experience before you got this job?
At Iowa I tried to take any class they offered that I thought would relate to the sports industry. Now looking back on it, there are some classes like facility and rec management that would have applied that I missed. However, I went to school for Business studies, because I knew that I wanted to work in the sporting industry and I think that a degree in a business field makes you more qualified than a sports management major. I feel that the same principles are taught and applied in both fields, but the sports management degree limits your opportunities post graduation.
As far as work experience, I kept busy during college working various jobs to help cover the bills. I did everything from little league coaching in my hometown to working for a lawn care company to a waiter in Iowa City. Then, I realized that experience in the sports industry was something that I really wanted/needed to get, and that was the best decision I made. My internship with the ICubs helped me realize what type of position I was looking for, reassured that it was an environment that I love being in, and helped me understand what it takes to be successful in the sporting industry.
2.    Why did you want to work in sports?
I was like any other kid growing up and lived sports. Whether I was playing or watching it was all sports all the time for me, so it is easily my biggest passion. When I realized that I could no longer play I still wanted to be around the game in some aspect, and it wasn’t until college when everything clicked for me and I could narrow my sight on what I was looking for. At Iowa, I became enamored with the whole gameday event that goes on for football and decided that event management in the sporting industry would be something that really interests me. Some of my favorite memories growing up and through college were going to sporting events and I really wanted to be a part of that atmosphere. That is the fun thing for me here with the Iowa Cubs because it has became a full circle of reality. I grew up coming to I-Cubs games, played here in high school, and am now helping put those events together for kids and families who were just like me. It makes coming to work fun everyday, and that is the biggest reason that I wanted to work in the sports industry. I knew it would be something that I would enjoy and like to be a part of.
3.    What qualifications do you seek in a new hire?
There are a bunch of traits that I’m looking for during the interview process, but there are a couple that I’m more focused on than others. Two important traits that I want in all of our employees is commitment and organization. Commitment is a big one in the sports industry, because 90% of our applicants will tell you they love sports. That is great, but that does nothing for me in terms of determining if they are the right person for the job. I don’t think people realize we don’t get to take in a lot of the games. Yes, there will be games when not as much is going on and you will get to catch a few innings, but you are hosting an event that approximately 7,000 fans are attending so there will always be something for you to do. Therefore, what I mean by commitment is that they are willing to put in the long hours, they realize that we only have 72 games a year to make a profit and we need to maximize those opportunities, and that you will be doing jobs that aren’t always the most fun. Organization is key for me because time management is such a big part of our job. The games can get pretty hectic, and I’m looking for someone that can handle finding 3 kids for a promotion in the middle of the 3rd inning, who can escort a fan to their correct seat, and can help someone from an outside company to their table in the concourse while explaining how the process typically works all in a few outs. There is always so much going on, and I think it is important to have people on our team that can think clearly in high pressure situations, because it is a highly interactive and fast paced environment.
4.       What is one thing that surprised you about your career/current position?
It has actually been a pleasant surprise for me, but there literally is something different every day going on for our department. I like the change of pace and learning from the new experiences. Every company we work with has a different idea on what will work best for them whether if it is advertising, a group outing, tailgate, etc. and it is really fun to hear their perspective on how they will benefit the most from working with us. It helps me realize what other people are looking for and see when attending an I-Cubs game. There will always be last minute curve balls, and the moment I think I have seen it all something new comes around.
5.       Do you have a mentor or someone you strive to be like?
I have a few mentors and am very fortunate to have great examples and people I can lean on. First and foremost it would be my Dad just because I got to witness first hand all the hard work he did just to provide the best opportunities for me and the rest of my family. My other two mentors come from within the organization. First would be our Director of Stadium Operations Jeff Tilley, because of everything that he has taught me in the few years that I have worked under him. I never imagined the things I would be capable of a few years into this position, and a lot of it he has shown me step by step from the beginning. Another thing about Jeff is that there is no job too big or too small for him. He is more than willing to do the crappy jobs, and sets a great example for me to keep that kind of outlook on my position. The second mentor here within the organization would be our General Manager Sam Bernabe. Sam has been great about explaining to me why he likes things a certain way, and is very good about taking me to the side and explaining things to me if a mistake is ever made. Also, it is reassuring for me that Sam started in my position and now is General Manager of the organization. He is doing a great job of preparing me for future opportunities and he has me excited to grow within this organization.
6.    Why did you choose to work for the Iowa Cubs?
The Iowa Cubs organization had a lot of selling points for me. It is the highest level of professional baseball in Iowa, it is a venue that sells tickets to over 500,000 fans on a yearly basis, the city of Des Moines, close to my family, a front office staff that is almost always hired from within, and a lot of the staff had been working there for a long time (happy with the company).
7.     What is the best advance you have for someone going into the sports industry?
The best advice that I can give to someone is to keep expanding your network and looking for ways to gain experience. Connections are big in every industry, but I think they are especially important in the sports industry. I think it is good to get experience especially in a area where you are not completely comfortable. Whether that is in a sport you aren’t 100% familiar with or working in a department you don’t have any experience in. For example, I think it is important to get experience in sales no matter what job you are looking for in sports. You are always trying to sell your event and it helps you understand how to sell yourself to a future employer.
 8. What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
I love the people that I work with. I think we have a great staff with great chemistry and that makes it easier to show up for any job. We have a clear understanding that every department counts on each other to do their job to make the whole organization successful. We can’t do what we do if there aren’t any tickets sold, and ticket prices can’t be as cheap as they are with out the sales team selling advertisement throughout the stadium, etc. Also, I believe that everyone is willing to bend over backwards to help out a co-worker here.
The other thing would be providing the experience for our fans of all ages. I love seeing the kids big eyes when they first see the field, or listening to them talk when they are getting ready for an on-field promotion. I enjoy seeing a group of friends coming down to enjoy the game together and catch up, and I enjoy seeing families making it a family night and spending the night together.

I want to give a huge thanks to Jake for taking time out of his bust schedule to answer these questions. For any of you out there looking for internship experience, I highly suggest you go to the Iowa Cubs Website and look at the internship opportunities they offer. They have excellent opportunities for students and it is great experience for people who are looking to go into the sports industry. I can vow to that from experience!



Sports Internship Tips!

Breaking into the sports industry begins with internships. These short stints of employment represent opportunities for you to show off your skills to sports business professionals. Although most sports internships do not lead to full-time jobs, it is important to work your butt off and establish relationships that last beyond your time at an organization.

When looking for internships, it is best to diversify your search in order to figure out what part of the business really makes you tick. Do not be afraid to apply for internships at the most highly coveted, well-known sports brands. These are the ones that will really make your resume pop.

Once you land an internship, adhere to these 5 tips that will help you stand out from the other interns:

1. Be the first to volunteer – Let’s face it. Interns do not always receive the most glorious projects around the office. That might mean sorting mail, photocopying, or proofreading. Do not be the intern who makes a face when someone asks for someone to do a task of this ilk. Jump at any opportunity to get yourself noticed. Although you will probably be working collaboratively with other interns, you are still competing with them in the eyes of your employer. Employers remember those who show initiative and enthusiasm, even for the most undesirable office tasks. Do not forget to smile and give 110% effort.

2. Network within the company – Besides letting your work ethic speak for itself, establishing relationships with other office employees and interns will be very beneficial to your career. Going out to lunch with your boss or meeting colleagues for after-work drinks are just two examples of potential networking opportunities. Both settings are great chances for you to get to know sports business professionals beyond their office duties. Take advantage or learning about their backgrounds and interests in order to add depth and meaning to your relationships with them. Networking with interns is also important because these peers are likely going to be in similar power positions within the industry some day.

3. Add value – This is what sets a typical 9 – 5 intern apart from an all-star intern. Adding value is about thinking outside the box and making the lives of those in the office easier. This might mean becoming an expert at Microsoft Office or any other software the company uses. The more knowledge you can bring to the table that results in time or money saved, the more positive attention your personal brand will receive. Always add value (A2V).

4. Be well-read – Regardless of the aspect of the sports industry you find yourself interning in, it is essential to keep abreast of the latest sports business news. That might mean arriving early to work to check sports blogs, websites, newspapers, etc. You must be able to speak intelligently about the industry and hold engaging business conversations with your superiors. The best thing about being well-read is the ability to easily share relevant articles and information with those around you through email and social media, yet another way to add value.

5. Say “Thank You” – Do your mother proud and learn to say “thank you” around the office, whether someone treated you to lunch, did you a favor, showed you a time-saving trick on the computer, etc. These two simple words will go a long way. At the internship’s end, do not forget to send your employer a handwritten thank you note that expresses your gratitude and highlights lessons learned from the internship. If you really want to make a lasting impression, get your direct superior a meaningful parting gift.

Build Your Linkedin Presence!

Linkedin is becoming more and more important for all professionals. It is also a great way for young professionals to get their name and their experience out to people who are looking to hire.

I came across a great article today in PRDaily about building you linkedin presence

The story comes from Ben Kniffen.

Here is the story:

If you’re already using LinkedIn to find business prospects, then chances are you’re ahead of the game.
If not, now’s the time to get started. 

Are you getting the most out of what LinkedIn has to offer? Here are five tactics you can add to your marketing tool belt that will put you even further ahead of your competitors.

1. Use LinkedIn Signal for prospecting.
Signal is a feature on LinkedIn that is rarely talked about, but it is powerful. You can access it by selecting “Updates” in the master search menu or by selecting “Signal” in the drop down menu on the “News” tab. Basically, Signal is an aggregated feed of all the status updates, groups posts, and any other content posted on LinkedIn. Why is this powerful? Because you can essentially see every status update from every person on LinkedIn. Not just your connections, or those within a couple degrees of you, but every person on LinkedIn. You can then use a targeted keyword search to sort through the statuses to find people talking about topics with which you want to engage. You can even sort the results by company, location, and many other parameters.

2. Fill out your LinkedIn “Interests” and “Skills & Expertise” sections.
The “Interests” and “Skills & Expertise” sections are two areas that are commonly glossed over by people building their profile. LinkedIn’s search algorithm is fairly basic, which means that if you have the right keywords on your profile (enough times) there is a good chance people will find your profile when they’re searching for those keywords. The “Interests” and “Skills & Expertise” sections are great places to load up on your keywords. In the latter section you are allowed 50 keywords. Use all 50. Don’t just list four and move on. In the “Interests” section you should do the same thing, take advantage of the space that LinkedIn gives you. Some people use this area to say they like “knitting” or “eating barbeque.” While this is a fine approach, we prefer to use this area to focus on the keywords that will drive appearances in search, profile views, and conversions. Keeping your “Interests” and “Skills & Expertise” sections rich with keywords is a great way to improve your position in LinkedIn’s people search rankings.

3. Take advantage of the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” tool.
Developing business is all about being seen and staying in front of your prospects. The “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature on LinkedIn is a great way to make this happen. Most of us have opened the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” You can’t resist, and neither can your prospects.

Here’s how to take advantage of this in a targeted manner:

1. Make a list of all the prospects you are trying to stay in front of. 2. Once a month, open up their profile in your browser. 3. When your prospects view who has been looking at their profile, your name has a very good chance of popping up. It’s just another way to keep in front of your prospects.

Do this simple three-step process once a month, and you are guaranteed to increase name recognition. 

4. Tap LinkedIn company searches to find new business contacts.
Lots of people search for prospects on LinkedIn. That’s nothing new. But how you search for them is another matter.
A great tactic to find prospective clients is to search through the companies listed on LinkedIn that you are targeting. In the master search tab you can pull down the “Company” option and start finding the companies on your target prospect list.
Often, people will perform a keyword search for something more position-focused like “procurement” or “purchaser.” By taking it a step further with the company search, you can find lists of employees to connect with on LinkedIn.
Not only can you connect with the “purchasers,” but also many of the other people who work at their company, thus improving your sales chances.

5. Expand your group membership.
If you don’t post in many groups or join group conversations, you need to start. You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn—unless you use this little trick. Many groups have smaller subgroups associated with them. Sometimes there might only be one or two subgroups belonging to the master group, but other times there might be a dozen or even more.
You are allowed to join all of them regardless of whether you have reached your limit of 50 groups. In other words, you can essentially join unlimited subgroups. It should be noted that you do not increase the amount of people with whom you are connected, since all subgroup members are already connected in the master group. But you can post content to each group individually, improving your chances of prospective clients seeing your posts in less crowded subgroups. Now instead of posting to 50 groups you can post to 60, 80 or even 100. There are many tactics you can use on LinkedIn to build your business. Spending a few minutes each day on these five are a great place to start.
Stick with these activities for a few months and you will see a spike in the number of relationships you are building and the number of real prospects that are seeing your name on LinkedIn.

Rest assured, your competition won’t be.



Using Social Media To Help A Job Or Internship

I came across a great article today on the PRSSA Linkedin Group. Its a break down of how more and more employers are turning to different forms of social media to let people know about new jobs and how they look at potential job applicants.

The article comes from socialtimes.com and is written by Megan O’Neil

Here is the link




Sports Business Article About What Job Seekers Are Looking For

This is an article that I forgot to put up on my blog last week.

It comes from Mike Boykin who write this on Sports Business Journal Daliy.

Here is a link to the article




Some Tips On Email Etiqutte For Professionals In All Areas

As a young professional, I find myself emailing alot of different people in different positions in the sports industry. Since I only know what position that person is in and they most likely have no idea who I am, it is important that the email you send them be very professional and informing.

Technology is moving at such a fast rate now that emailing has become a norm of communication.

Whether is on your mac, hp, or from your phone email has become the most efficent way to get a hold of people thats not social media. Like I said before, they are very important.

I found an excellent article today on PRDaily.com about ways for you to improve your email etiqutte. I encourage you guys to check it out!

Here is the link to the article


I hope you guys get alot out of it!



Absolute Must When Looking for a Job in Sports or a Job Period!

This past year at the University of Iowa, I had the privledge to work at the Pomerantz Career Center. The Career Center is where all student and career advisors work at the University. I was lucky enough to become peer advisor and learn all about being a young professional.

I follow the Career Center on twitter and they posted a great article this week about avoiding the biggest mistake in an interview.

Well for all of you young professionals at there, interviewing for a job or internship can be very intimidating. But after reading this article you will see that this is the worse thing you can do in an interview

Here is the link to the article


For any of you out there looking for jobs and internships always do your research on the company or organization you are applying for.



Great Article About PR In Sports

The more I look at PRDaily the more I like what I see. During this week I came across a story involving the Ricketts Family. The Ricketts Family own the Chicago Cubs and recently had reporters not asking about the play on the field but the play off of it.

It is a very interesting read. I encourage you guys to take a look at it.

Here is the link




Great Article by Lewis Howes

For all of you young entrepreneurs out there, this an excellent and short read by Lewis Howes (who I introduced in my last post).

Here is the link


It was on forbes.com earlier this week. Enjoy!