Young Achievers

Grant Norris-Jones 

While studying Psychology at the University of Southern California, Grant joined the Manhattan Sports Business Academy leading him to a Business Development role with the Leverage Agency. After completing his Undergraduate degree at USC, he completed his Masters in Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Soon after, he moved over to work for the Global Marketing Partnerships team at the NBA, where he managed the planning and activation of a partner portfolio including American Express, Harman International, P&G, Sun Life Financial, and Ticketmaster.

 

After almost two years, Grant started working on the NBA's International Business Development team where he helped drive large scale marketing partnerships across the NBA’s 13 key global regions including Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe, and Latin America. He drove a multiyear global partnership that made Tissot the first Official Timekeeper of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and NBA Development League (NBA D-League), valued over $200M. In his current role, Grant is responsible for Integrated Partnerships as a Director at FanDuel. 

 

1) What is a typical day like on the Integrated Partnerships team at FanDuel?


As you probably hear from many people in the industry, there is no typical day or routine for most of us. I have been fortunate enough to be part of a company that is leading the way in the most exciting thing to happen to the sports business industry for our generation. I wish I had a more direct answer, but my role is very dynamic and FanDuel is a company that prides itself on being a cohesive unit where no job is too small. 

 

2) Your career growth can be very inspirational to many young executives in the industry reading. What do you feel is the greatest contributor to your growth in the last few years? 

 

The greatest external contributor to my growth in recent years would have to be one of my recent managers. Out of graduate school, I quickly came to learn that one of the most important things in a job is who you are working for. Luckily, I learned this lesson by working with one of the most truly talented people I have ever met (rather than learning the lesson through a negative experience!) At the NBA, my first manager created a level of trust and comfort that made everyday worthwhile - not to mention they had an unparalleled commitment to my personal and professional growth. Now, this person has become a friend and lifelong career ally - I know we will work together again. 

 

 

3) Outside of your company, who do you think is setting the standard in corporate partnerships?

 

I have a lot of respect for what some of the Premier League teams have done in the UK. Maybe I am biased being a Brit, but I believe that the likes Manchester United and City Football Group manage to stay nimble and innovative while staying true to their core sales standards and culture. Domestically, you have to respect what the Dallas Cowboys organization has done. 

 

4) What do you attribute your success so far to in the industry?

 

Priding myself on being a consistent high-level performer... with a little bit of luck too! 

 

5) What's your best advice for students or young professionals trying to build a career in the sponsorship and marketing industry? 

 

I would highly recommend having as many conversations with as many people in the industry as you can. Breaking into sports can often seem daunting and the industry is pretty tough to understand for an outsider looking in. Use people with experience as a resource. Soon, you'll realize that sports, at the end of the day, is just another business. 

 

6) Who's your favourite athlete of all-time? 

 

When I moved from the UK to the US, I became a huge fan of a fellow Europe immigrant at the time, Dirk Nowitzki. After I quickly realized that I am a terrible basketball player, I picked up fighting and soon became a competitive boxer - following a lot of boxing and MMA athletes. Back at USC, I started following a fellow SoCal fighter named Ronda Rousey. 

 

It's a tie between those two - I guess I have a thing for people that revolutionize their respective sports.

 

Grant Norris-Jones

Job: Director, Integrated Partnerships

FanDuel

Education: USC and University of Cambridge

Age: 26 years old

 

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