Chris currently serves as Partnership Activation Coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Chris graduated summa cum laude from William Jewell College in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration—Entrepreneurial Leadership. Chris is also a proud alumnus of the Manhattan Sports Business Academy Class of 2013. During his undergraduate career, Chris completed seven internships with five professional sports properties: the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Sporting Kansas City, and the National Football League. In October 2013, Chris was recognized at the University of Michigan Sports Business Conference with the inaugural BIG Initiative Award, given to the top ten sports business students in North America. As someone who has received its benefits, Chris places a heavy emphasis on mentorship. He credits his mentors, the people who invested and believed in him, for his success – namely Anthony Matthies, Emily Hanover, Jon Moses, Chris Chaney, and Jared Schoenfeld.
1) What is your best advice for students trying to enter the sponsorship world?
Have a true passion for learning and never stop doing it. In sponsorship, you have to keep up with the latest trends and data impacting the brands you work alongside. A brand is essentially a promise of performance. In order to help a brand keep that promise, you almost have to know their business better than they do. Sponsorship is a tough space to enter and an even harder one to live in. I never have the same day twice and I'm learning every day. The day I stop is the day I'm no longer being challenged.
2) Outside of your brand, who do you think is setting the standard in corporate partnerships?
I think Anheuser-Busch is one that sticks out to me. They're obviously heavily invested in sports partnerships and have been for a long time, but I think their success is due to the fact that they have such an amazing ability to leverage their partnerships with more than just media and advertising buys. Their current "Up For Whatever" campaign is a perfect example of them engaging with their consumers in a unique, fun way.
3) Who is your favourite athlete of all time?
Coming of age in Cleveland in the 2000s, it should come as no surprise that I loved the Cavaliers and LeBron James. I was admittedly hurt when he left us for Miami, but all is now forgiven. I still have my old jersey (no, I wasn't one of those Cleveland fans), and I can't wait to see him bring a championship to a city that badly deserves one.
Job: Corporate Partnerships Coordinator
Kansas City Chiefs
Education: William Jewell College
Age: 22 years old