Andrew graduated from Tulane University in 2012. After interning with IMG in both New York City and at Tulane in New Orleans, Andrew landed a spot in the NBA’s Associate Program where he had an opportunity to work within five different departments. After completing the rotational program, Andrew landed a role within the NBA's Global Partnerships team.
The Sponsorship Space had the chance to sit down with Andrew with chat about his role with the NBA, career growth, and advice for other young professionals.
1) Tell us about your role with the NBA.
I work within Global Partnerships, a group where we manage all different types of partnerships. My role is specifically focused on the marketing partnerships side of the business. I manage a few of those partnerships day-day, working directly with the brands and their agencies to activate against their specific objectives. I also work on a small team that manages our partnership content business, essentially providing consultative guidance for our partners to activate NBA-themed content on their own channels.
2) What kind of challenges do you face in your current role?
The most challenging aspect of my role, but what at the same time makes it so appealing to me, is that every day represents a new challenge; something completely different you wouldn’t have expected the day before. So many of my friends have jobs for which they wake up every morning knowing exactly what they’re getting into, whereas at the NBA, no two days are ever the same. Every situation presents its unique challenges and you have to think creatively and think outside the box because in sponsorship/marketing, everyone is trying to do something new and different.
3) In the last few years, you have experienced a lot of growth. What do you contribute to your success thus far?
Hard work and preparation on my own time to prepare myself for something as big as finalizing or executing a deal to something as small as a phone call or internal meeting. More generally, it’s all about developing authentic relationships, paying attention to successful people and analyzing what it is that makes them successful and applying those observations to your own career approach. Whenever you interact with someone, try to actively listen and learn rather than distracting yourself with the concern of impressing that person.
4) What has your career been like thus far? Has it been linear?
Through my internship at IMG, I had an opportunity to see the sponsorship world from an agency prospective. While at Tulane, I volunteered for a small internship with NuBoard Media, which essentially provided me with experience in on-site activation/execution around a marquee event (the Final Four in New Orleans). Coming into the NBA Associate rotational program, only a quarter of my experience was sponsorship driven. The rest was all different facets of the business, from team finance, to player marketing, to social responsibility (NBA Cares). Getting all those different perspectives was great and it helped me realize that my greatest area of interest was the sponsorships/partnerships side of the business.
Fortunately, Global Partnerships is where I ended up for my full time position, though at first in a slightly different role in a sub-group called Marketing Solutions. Marketing Solutions is almost like an ideation agency within a property in that we were coming up the ideas that were then presented to both our existing partners and to new prospects. A little over a year ago now, I decided to shift into a slightly different role (the one I’m in today), and that’s on the account management side of our group. This role allows me to deal more directly with clients, and gives me the chance to see how a relationship evolves through all phases. It gives me time to focus on a couple of specific brands in a deep way and feel more attached to those brands, really helping them execute their plans and objectives beyond the ideation stage.
5) What is your best advice for students or young professionals trying to enter the sponsorship world.
When applying for a sponsorship position or any position within sports and entertainment, be prepared to articulate why you would add value and be a good fit for that company and for the specific role. Really focus on positioning yourself in terms of your applicable skills and business acumen. In my experience in sports business, I find that too many job applicants play up how diehard of a sports fan they are. Your fan hood alone is not going to help you break into the industry. That said, if you’re a sports fan and you have a lot of sports specific knowledge, that’s great because people excel when they are working on something they are passionate about. In terms of positioning yourself though, the passion should be additive to the tangible business skills and acumen you bring to the table.
Coordinator, Global Partnerships
National Basketball Association
Education: Tulane University
Age: 27 years old