Major Sports Brands (Marketing and Sales Professionals)

Marketing for a major sports brand can be extremely exciting. It can also be even more stressful and competitive than working for a professional sports franchise. Much like professional teams, top brands like Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, etc. all have significantly more people applying for jobs than jobs available. This leads to a highly competitive environment where only the most talented and most persistent get the jobs.

Working for one of these sports companies means being a brand ambassador. This translates to someone that is always thinking about the state of the companies brand as it relates to marketing communications and all other interactions with consumers. Marketing professionals often help train sales associates on features and benefits of multiple product lines to enable representation of the company’s products in the manner most suiting to the maintenance of brand equity.

As with marketing consulting companies hired to work for top brands, marketing employees often are tasked with establishing strategic alliances with retailers, building strong relations with key decision makers in those organizations, and ensuring complete & timely execution of in-store initiatives as indicated by the corporate office. The key in-store initiative often includes gaining and securing prime retail positioning and real estate for products in all retailers.

Although it is not true of all brand-related positions, many include job functions requiring employees to help retailers execute monthly store objectives and promotional initiatives to enhance store presentation and drive retail sales of company athletics products. This usually includes providing on-going merchandising, product-awareness, and market intelligence services to keep on top of trends in the marketplace.

The common qualification for these highly competitive positions is at a minimum a 4-year degree (many companies prefer an advanced degree in business, marketing, branding or PR) and 1-2 years retail experience with a focus on merchandise presentation and brand equity and identity.

As with other high-level jobs, employees must display organizational skills to maximize efficiency during store visits, be independent, self-motivated, flexible, and adaptable, and have a keen attention to detail and ability to multi-task. Employees must also have a strong understanding of merchandising and retail store operations.

*Computer savvy individuals will always have a leg up on the competition. This includes proficiencies at; Word, Excel, Adobe, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook to name some of the most highly used.


Compensation is usually based upon a salary that ranges from $30,000 to $80,000. On top of the base salary, other benefits including; bonuses, travel allowances, and often discounts are also commonly received. Most of these companies also have 401K plans and good health benefits. Pay is commonly on a bimonthly schedule.

Interview: Merryn Roberts – Nike Marketing Manager – Retail Communications (Running)