Marketing directors develop the firm’s marketing strategy in detail. With the help of marketing assistants and market research personnel, they estimate demand and create a brand image for the team. In addition, they identify potential markets to attack with advertising and other media. In collaboration with sales, promotions, and the sponsorship department, they monitor trends that indicate the need for changes in services or brand image. Marketing directors work with advertising and promotion managers to promote the team’s products and services and to attract more fans and consumers of branded merchandise.
Some common responsibilities include: overseeing sales and team marketing functions within the arena or stadium, working with the team’s advertising agency, and creating new hospitality opportunities. In smaller markets, directors are often responsible for the preparation of advertising, executive suites sales, and marketing budgets, ensuring timely execution and focusing on immediate and thoughtful long-term business goals.
Most directors are tasked with maintaining and coordinating the implementation of budgeted goals and objectives for the teams marketing department. This includes developing strategies to maximize the value of the current inventory available for sale, such as signage, print, Internet, radio and television.
It is critical to be adept at developing long and short-term strategies that enable the team to be competitive within the league in the areas of marketing, advertising and in smaller markets ticket sales. In doing this the individual must often research (or have other marketing staff research) current and projected industry trends to ensure the teams marketing and sales strategies are properly aligned with the local market and the league.
Most marketing directors come either from a lower marketing position or public relations function. Most have at least a four-year degree and many have a Master’s degree in fields such as marketing, business administration, communications, public relations or advertising.
Salary levels vary substantially, depending upon the level of managerial responsibility, length of service, education, professional level (minor league versus top professional league), location, and sport.
Major League Baseball: $70,000 – $95,000
National Football League: $75,000 – $100,000
National Basketball Association: $65,000 – $95,000
National Hockey League: $50,000 – $75,000
This isn’t where most people start their career in sports, but you can get there eventually!